Julia Mills ’22
Every Monday and Thursday evenings in the computer lab, the yearbook staff works away, staring at their screens, mastering Photoshop, proofing prints, and eating gummies. They work hard throughout the year to produce the Mercersburg Karux to share memories of the year with our community. Drew Trostle ‘22, editor-in-chief, says, “The only thing that our community sees is the finished product. But before that book was printed, every section was reviewed by an advisor and staff member three times after being originally developed.” Right now, student staff members are working hard to finish up their work before the end of the winter term.
At the beginning of every school year, the editors-in-chief divide the staff up into different sections: Seniors, Sports, Ads, Places, Campus Life, People, or Arts. By writing, collecting quotations, writing captions, contacting students, and taking pictures, each member of the staff works tirelessly to complete their section. The work done on the Karux is not all individual, however. Teamwork is a vital element of the production process. Former editor-in-chief Jesse Zhang ‘20 says, “Yearbook is a coordinated group effort because every team has to be informed on what the others are working on and what they need from each other. It requires a lot of constant and open communication.” Izzy Jones ‘22, head editor, agrees, saying, “Each staff member has a certain role. Most of them are section editors, but some are photographers. In the bigger picture, everyone helps everyone.”
Completing the yearbook may seem like a straightforward process; unfortunately, there are trials and tribulations along the way. Caroline Simpson ‘22, senior section editor, says, “People might not realize that any work that they decide not to submit, we have to collect for them.” “The hardest part of yearbook is managing everything and the pressure of getting the yearbook done on time,” says Jones.
Now, with our recent days spent online, the staff is also battling the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic. As editor-in-chief, Zhang had to work on production all the way from China. He says, “Events have their ways of surprising you and you end up with something totally different. For me, I wouldn’t have had it any other way, which is incidentally emblematic of my class’ high school experience.” Zhang, Trostle, and Jones are all proof that yearbook production stops for nothing, including a global pandemic and online classes.
While Karux meetings may seem to be strictly business, Jones admits, “We discuss all of the senior superlative questions as a group and share what we think of the winners.” Simpson adds, “My favorite yearbook memory is when Mr. Thorne sent the senior section editors out to survey the senior class by going to each of the dorms and knocking on doors.” Between the good times and the bad, the yearbook staff is a resilient and fun-loving group devoted to their common goal: the 2021-22 Karux.