How Wichita Southeast is documenting a year like no other in its yearbook

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – With school being remote for the majority of the year and activities like dances on hold, Southeast High School’s yearbooks are getting a new look this year.

“Yearbook, we’re supposed to document what goes on during the year and no matter what that is,” said Nathan Christner, Southeast High School’s journalism advisor.

With an empty classroom and computer screen, yearbook staff got to brainstorming on how to fill pages.

“A lot of times we couldn’t get pictures of classrooms and stuff. A lot of the stuff we had to rely on teachers sending us stuff, students sending us stuff,” said Chloe Bruyere, yearbook editor.

Remembering online classes with pages of profile pictures from students.

The yearbook filled with new sections like the hottest item all students had.

“People get really creative with their masks. Some people buy specific ones. Some people kind of design them themselves,” Christner said.

Creating content is one hurdle. The other, designing the yearbook while socially distanced.

“We’d have to text back and forth about all these ideas and some issues that come up, and we’d have to hope that the other person could reply in time,” Bruyere explained.

Christner says yearbook is more than an elective.

“You’re basically running a small business and so like a lot of small businesses during the pandemic yearbooks are struggling.”

He said sales are down by half compared to this time last year. The staff wanting that to change to keep their program running and give students a memento for decades down the road.

“They’re gonna want to show their kids. Say here’s a picture of the mask I wore. This is what it was like, here are some pictures of school, when we were only allowed to have five or six people in a room. So, it’s a time capsule,” Christener said.

Wichita Southeast High School yearbook deadline is less than two weeks away.

Bruyere believes this yearbook will be used to inspire future classes to come.

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