How to make a yearbook: COVID-19 edition

Yearbook works on publishing during distance learning


Photo Courtesy of Kathie Leggett

Yearbook cover art was created by Brooke Harrington, OPHS alumna who graduated in 2014. Harrington attended CSLUB and graduated with a special degree in architecture and design.

A yearbook is meant to show the whole school year through photos of events that took place, and the seniors are featured with a senior photo and quote. Oak Park High School yearbooks have thousands of pictures to look at, holding memories from page to page. This year, the OPHS yearbook staff has used a different approach to create the yearbook compared to years previous. 

“It’s being run pretty much the same except we have to use our phones instead of professional cameras and we have to use ‘Layout Pro’ as opposed to other picture editing software like Photoshop,” junior and yearbook staff member Stephanie Tangalos wrote to the Talon. 

According to Tangalos, the yearbook staff wanted to give insight on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected OPHS. Because of this, the staff had the idea of publishing a yearbook, even with the limitations created by COVID-19, that has the same layout of previous yearbooks. 

“Our main assignments this year are quarantine based, so we take/submit photos and create spreads that are usually (but not all the time) focused on how covid changed things but of course we still make classical spreads like the siblings pages or the senior superlatives,” Tangalos wrote. 

According to Tangalos, the lack of extracurriculars and sports posed a challenge. However, the staff has come up with ideas to make up for the lack of activity.

Editors collaborate on Yearbook Avenue to create the 2020 Oak Park High School yearbook. (Photo Courtesy of Kathie Leggett and Stephanie Tangalos)

“I just had a yearbook student ask other students about their favorite snacks. We also have binge-watching TV shows as another creative topic. In addition, we will be creating pages in the yearbook using the answers from the poll questions that were given out via Google Forms at the beginning of the semester,” yearbook advisor and English teacher Kathie Leggett said. 

In the yearbook, seniors have dedicated pages for their senior picture and quote. According to Leggett, she has received a great response rate. 

“Out of 375 seniors we have less than 40 seniors who need to get their photos done at O’Connor Brothers Photography,” Leggett said. 

The yearbook staff have been working hard to get the yearbook together for this year. According to Leggett, the yearbook will have a target ship date of June 21, 2021, to be able to fit in CIF sports as well as other spring events which may occur in March and April. The yearbook will be shipping from North Carolina again this year, just like last year’s yearbook.

“We are trying to create and maintain some of our very important Oak Park High School traditions,” Leggett said. “It is a tough job, but I do believe in my students and I’m really proud of all their efforts. They are frustrated but they are all trying really hard and I’m so grateful for that.”

The yearbook staff is relying on the feedback and assistance of peers to be able to put together the yearbook. 

“I sincerely hope students will respond to emails, social media and texts when yearbook students reach out to them for a photo and/or quote. It will make our 2021 yearbook that much more meaningful with strong participation from the OPHS student body,” Leggett said.