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Retina Yearbook: Preserving Memories for Years to Come

Charlotte Drapkin
Retina Staff

As the school year comes to an end, a year’s worth of student memories and accomplishments ends with it. These formative years will be carried through student lives and Springfield’s yearbook staff, Retina, ensures students can look back on them for years to come. Retina has been working around the clock to capture every sports game, student event, club meeting, and aspect of student life. Three separate staffs went into each page and were part of a large process for their end product: Springfield’s one-hundredth anniversary yearbook.

How does Retina work?

Retina Yearbook comprises three staffs: layout, copy, and photo staff. Each staff member has an editor who helps guide them in their diverse contributions to the book—by the end of this year; there were five editors. In terms of the editors’ tasks, Retina editor-in-chief Sarah Herczerg says the main responsibilities are “establishing deadlines… delegating tasks, [and] overseeing the rest of the staff.”

Copy editor Kaity Walton also explains that editors do a lot of instructing and teaching and that they ” work very closely with each other and take on a lot more responsibility.”

For a project so large-scale, Walton also remarked on how it feels to be on the administrative side of it: “it was surreal seeing the amount of work that goes into a project like this… [and] its really neat being able to see it from start to finish.” On a more personal note, she added that being an editor was “not something [she] expected [herself] to do in high school… [but was] so glad [she] did.”

In terms of the innerworkings of each specialty staff, each group contributes an entirely different aspect to the book.

The layout staff does just as the name suggests: it designs and organizes pages.

The copy staff is in charge of writing all of the text seen in the book. Some intrinsic parts, editor Walton says, are reaching out to people, obtaining rosters (for sports), name-checking, and writing the copy itself. A unique addition to the copy staff this year was the use of alt copy—concise text that expands on the subject of a page—on nearly every page, which Walton claims isn’t commonly done and allowed for “a lot of creative freedom.”

To photograph every student event, the photo staff spent all year delegating responsibilities amongst themselves. Photo editor Charlotte Drapkin explains the qualities a photo must have to make it into the final cut of the book: “It has to have good composition– it can’t be blurry, it cant be overexposed, but also it has to have good subject matter for what’s being represented on the page.”

Drapkin herself put a lot of work into downloading, sorting, and putting the photos on pages. In fact the photo editors for next year, Penny Kline and Colleen Young, said that Drapkin served as an exemplar editor and helped them feel prepared for taking up her former role.

Commemorating this year

Editors remarked on the progress their staff made throughout the year; one thing they reached a consensus on was the staff’s ability to pull together in the final weeks before publication. The editors, as Herczeg puts it, are “really proud of everyone.”

The community built among the staffers this year was also a large talking point among editors. Drapkin says that her staff was “very close personality-wise and did a good job of helping each other out.”

The most crucial takeaway is Herczeg’s final statement about Retina’s work over this year:
“It’s kind of difficult for people who are outside Retina to understand all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into creating the books because we’re essentially just taking it from a blank page and kind of making it our own and having to recreate that and reinvent ourselves every year is very difficult and not to be underestimated.”

Moving forward

Next year’s editors attended a workshop on May 8 to begin brainstorming the theme for next year’s yearbook. Drapkin says this process involves “a lot of trial and error.” Theme brainstorming and other planning for next year will be continued over the summer.

If you’re interested in joining the Retina staff next year, please complete this application by May 24.

The yearbook is for sale for $90 for the rest of the school year. Support Retina and commemorate your school year by purchasing one!

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