DelHi, the Hayes High School Yearbook, was recently given an award for the quality of the forthcoming 2020-2021 yearbook.
The publication, organized and created by Hayes students and advised by English teacher Aaron Sherman, was recently selected for the Gallery of Excellence Award for “consistent superior quality” by Walsworth Yearbooks, the yearbook’s publisher.
Sherman, who praised the staff for all their hard work, said the yearbook was nominated by Sarah Baldruff, a sales rep at Walsworth.
“(Last summer) we started emailing and texting about what the story of the school year could look like,” Sherman said. “That communication and planning was the origin of the how; from there it was late nights photographing events, collaborating on copy writing, and laying out the right design.”
Sherman said students overcame many challenges this year in order to create the yearbook, and he’s glad they were recognized for their work.
“I felt like the frustrating moments while working to create the spreads were redeemed for them, like the rushed deadlines and uncertainties of the year gave rise, finally, to a sense of being grounded in a truth: their work was, through it all, excellent,” Sherman said. “No more doubting our ability to cover the year through the hurdles of COVID. They did it, it happened, and I couldn’t be prouder of their continual refining of the skills we hone in class.”
Lauren English, one of the editors of the yearbook, said she and the other two editors, Madelyn Kaasa and Gracie Phillips, are in charge of deciding the overall theme, picking and designing templates, assigning spreads to the other staff members, taking and going through event photos, and working on spreads of their own.
English said she’s enjoyed working on the yearbook because it gives her a creative outlet.
“I’ve always loved using the creative part of my brain, so when I had the opportunity to use it in school I took it,” English said. “I had also heard from previous members that it was a lot of fun.”
English added one of her favorite parts of working on the yearbook is making something for her classmates.
“I enjoy a lot of things about yearbook, but the best part is being able to create something for our classmates that they’ll most likely keep forever,” English said. “It’s a huge honor to be a part of telling our school’s stories throughout the year for everyone to look back on.
“I’m so thankful for the Excellence Award because this year was very difficult for yearbook staff everywhere due to all of things we couldn’t do because of COVID,” English said. “That being said, we were able to do our best with what we had, and it’s awesome that we are getting recognized for it.”
English said she’ll be attending Virginia Tech in the fall and plans to major in public relations.
Kaasa said she’s been working on yearbooks for the last three years, and she’s been an editor for the last two years. Kaasa said she got involved with yearbook after an advisor encouraged her to join.
“I thought it would be a fun way to involve myself at school more,” Kaasa said. “The thing I enjoy most about yearbook is seeing it all come together. It can be so stressful creating the book, but once it all comes together, it is the best feeling. I also love going to events and taking pictures.”
Kaasa said she’s pleased the staff won the award.
“This year has been so crazy and it has been difficult to create our normal book, so being recognized for it is a really good feeling,” she said.
Kaasa said after she graduates later this month, she plans to attend Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, to major in visual communications with a journalism minor.
Phillips, who will be majoring in pre-physical therapy at the University of Cincinnati this fall, said, “After learning about our Excellence Award, I was very proud of the staff as a whole. It felt really good knowing that all of our hard work paid off and was recognized by our yearbook company.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.