Treering Yearbook Heroes is a monthly feature focusing on yearbook tips and tricks.
One of the 18 tornadoes crossing Kentucky in December 2021, an EF-4, the deadliest tornado in the Commonwealth’s history, devastated towns in the southwest corner. Pennyroyal Area Christian Home Educators of Kentucky (PACHEK) students delivered food, assisted with clean up, and served with various faith-based relief organizations in Pembroke, Mayfield, Bremen, and Dawson Springs, KY. Yearbook volunteer, pastor’s wife, and homeschool mom Lora Farrell first caught our eye when she submitted her yearbook team’s spread, detailing both the devastation and the work to right it all in the 2022 Treering Design Contest. They won second place.
How does it feel to go from second place to first?
That was really shocking because I almost didn’t even enter. I really loved the spread we entered last year and I felt there wasn’t a spread this year (yet) at the same level of my personal satisfaction. It was such a fun surprise to be a finalist.
We are leveraging the free yearbooks we won from the contest to incentivize donations for our Beta Club fundraiser. We are partnering with Funds2Orgs for a shoe drive. We collect shoes, and they pay us per pound. The shoes then help micro-entrepreneurs in developing nations build their businesses and the money we raise will help students attend Beta’s national convention.
Let’s talk design. How did PACHEK choose Groovy for their 30th anniversary book?
The students really liked the design and we wanted to do something throwback. It’s not 90s, but the 70s seem to cycle back through every 20 years or so and it just works.
On our divider pages, we used photos from previous years along with a paragraph with a little bit of group history. The team and I reached out to older members of the community. Because we are near Ft. Campbell, there is a large, transient military population. It was tough to get some photos as a result. Most are the ones I’ve taken over the previous 12 years. We did include interviews with older members of the community since digital photos weren’t the norm back then.
How do you build a 124-page book in a homeschool environment?
Yearbook is strictly a volunteer job. We currently have four students who build the book and two moms training to take over as sponsors. As part of our campus culture, there is naturally lots of photo sharing in the group: people share at the end of the day or after a field trip—it’s automatic.
During each co-op module, we meet twice a month. Between these sessions, it’s once a month. We break down tasks throughout the year to curb procrastination. I leave notes on the spreads in the Treering app. The students are intrinsically motivated and I like to give them a little extra with parties and food during work sessions. We also do a year-end celebration when the book arrives.
What tips do you have for someone just getting started as a yearbook club adviser?
Don’t be afraid: the software is user-friendly and there are resources available. With our previous company, I had to use a lot of outside resources. In Treering, I can set margins and page styles. I love the new folder features where we can add subfolders and share between folders.
The biggest thing is to be consistent throughout the year by managing the workload.