The 2011-2012 school year is an historical one for . It marks the first time students will graduate from the school after attending all four years there.
Past graduating classes began their first years of high school at .
“We are truly 100 percent Phoenix,” said Lincoln-Way North senior Emily Busko.
To celebrate the historical occasion, members of the Lincoln-Way North Paragon yearbook staff decided to design the 2011-2012 annual around the theme “4-ever North.”
“We decided to choose the theme because this is the fourth year Lincoln-Way North has been open,” said Busko, The Paragon’s managing editor. “The 2012 graduating class is the first to have gone all four years at North, which will now be carried out by every other class.”
The 10-member, all female yearbook staff worked very hard to complete the book on time, said Lincoln-Way North English teacher and yearbook adviser Kathryn Quas.
“They have done a phenomenal job,” she added. “The book that they have created captures the essence of North and is filled with heart and school spirit.”
Paragon staff members include: staff writer Korie Poe; photo editor Abby Placzkowski; copy editor Taylor Leddin; staff writer Michaela Malizia; staff writer Gabby Planera; design editor Ashley Esparza; design editor Kaitlyn Hong; staff writer Sara Ruzevich; staff writer Anna Horton; and managing editor Emily Busko.
The students have playfully adopted the term “yerds” for themselves, a new, popular term among yearbook staffs that means yearbook nerd.
“Yerds are able to see what others don’t see,” senior Ashley Esparza explained proudly. “They can capture the bloopers and deleted scenes from people.”
Capturing those bloopers and deleted scenes can be exhausting, however.
“I’ve had multiple dreams and nightmares about deadlines, spreads, pictures, and distribution day,” said Busko. “I will probably continue to for the rest of my life.”
“You definitely notice all the little things,” agreed Kaitlyn Hong. “You never look at a yearbook the same way again. You see the little discrepancies and mistakes or things that look just off to you.”
“You notice picas (spacing) on everything,” added Taylor Leddin. “Once when I looked at the back of a DVD, I made a note that the pictures were spaced incorrectly from the text.”
Students agree the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, however.
“Being the copy editor has made me grammatically picky,” said Leddin.
“The experience also helps with the way you see life,” said Hong. “I look at everything differently now. What I learned from being a yerd will always be useful.”
The group's hard work has paid off. Just after completing the 2011-2012 annual, they learned it had been selected for inclusion in the publishing company’s Gallery of Excellence.
Only the top 1 percent of books published by Walsworth Publishing Company is selected for the honor each year.
“The Gallery of Excellence is a premier collection of the company's top yearbooks,” Walsworth President Don Walsworth wrote in a letter to the students. “Only a small percentage of yearbooks published by Walsworth enter the Gallery each year. The yearbooks in this collection demonstrate thorough knowledge and ability to create all components of a yearbook, including theme, coverage, design, and photography.”
Students say they are proud of their efforts and hope their classmates enjoy reminiscing about the past year by flipping through the pages of The Paragon.
“Being in yearbook means not holding back and showing your creative side, and being able to show the students a different view on what goes on throughout the school,” said Sara Ruzevich. “You hold a secret about knowing everything that goes in the yearbook, and you have to keep it a secret so everyone has something to look forward to. It’s a big responsibility and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat if I could.”