In the people section of the Class of 2010, there are many different poses for many different pictures. The Class of 2011 will have uniform photographs with male students in tuxedos and female students in drapes over their shoulders. Yearbook advisor Kim Buller believes the more uniform look to the pages will increase the yearbook staff’s chances of being awarded for their work. For $30 and up – depending on desired size – students will be allowed to place an ad in a specific section of the yearbook that will contain a picture of the student’s choice as well as a personal message from the student. Daily Leader photo/Jessica Crawford
By JESSICA CRAWFORD
• Daily Leader
The Liberal High School yearbook staff is trying to take its yearbook to the next level – an award winning level. However, changes made to the layout in the senior class section has many in the class of 2011 upset.
In years past, seniors were allowed to replace a standard picture in their cap and gown with an individualized senior picture in the people section for the cost of $30. Any advertising space in a different section of the yearbook with a personal message from each student was available for an additional cost.
The yearbook staff has decided to do things a little differently this year. Yearbook advisor Kim Buller said the changes have met with some resistance, mostly due to misunderstandings.
“They get to have both pictures in the yearbook,” she said. “There are some that are seriously misinformed. They used to be able to pay $30 and hand me a senior picture and replace the picture that we take in the yearbook. And students that couldn’t afford pictures, they would keep the picture that we took in there. This year, when they hand me that $30, their tux and drape picture will stay in the yearbook in the people section, and when they hand me that $30 they will get an additional ad. They get to place their senior picture and a message to mom and dad. For that $30, they get two pictures and an ad.”
Keeping the pictures in the people section uniform, Buller said, is very important if the LHS yearbook staff wishes to produce an award-winning yearbook.
“They are having uniform pictures in the people section because otherwise, we have a big glob of pictures of a close-up, then next to it we might have a full-body picture and next to that we have somebody in a tux who couldn’t afford to take pictures,” she said. “So this way, we have a uniform picture of the senior class, just like we do regular school pictures. They aren’t exactly like school pictures because they get a tux or a drape, so it is a little fancier.
“This is the way the award winning yearbooks do it,” she explained. “If you look at some of the best yearbooks in the nation, this is how they do it. We wanted to create an award-winning book, and we are giving them two pictures for the price of one. There are some people that don’t seem to understand that or they can’t do the math.”
From what Buller understands, some of the seniors are not interested in senior ads, they simply want a senior picture in the people section. She added some LHS graduates have said they did not have to pay the $30 to have their specific senior picture in the people section. Buller said there is only one way a senior could avoid paying the $30 fee.
“Some seniors from last year said on Facebook that they didn’t have to pay,” she said. “If they turned in their pictures by October, they didn’t have to pay anything. That was just because they were early. Rarely, though, did that happen. Out of approximately 250 seniors, I maybe had 40. So most of them were paying anyway.”
Buller said regardless of what action students may take regarding the yearbook staff’s decision to change the layout, the staff has the right to change the layout as they see fit.
“In Kansas, high school press has the same rights as any regular press by law,” she said. “This is the right of a student publication to change the layout, all we are doing is changing the layout.
“We are doing it this way,” she continued. “We want to do an award-winning book. So, they can like it or not – we are Kansas Press and this is the way it is. We have the same rights. Kansas Scholastic Press Association states we are indeed a Kansas Publication that cannot be petitioned.”
Principal Keith Adams is aware of the situation, Buller said. However, he is not for the change nor against it.
“He is neither supportive or unsupportive, he is just doing what he has to do because we are press,” she said.
Buller has talked with several individuals regarding the change. Most conversations have been mostly positive, she said.
“Most of the parents that I have talked to contacted me by e-mail or by phone,” she said. “I probably had about 10 or 15 parents contact me because they were misinformed and were upset. The parents that I talked to personally or e-mailed personally, some thought it would be great to see more pictures of their kid and some weren’t sure what they felt, but were willing to give it a chance. That is the general consensus of the parents I talked to.
“I want them to be OK with it so I have been talking to people and telling them what we are doing, we want them to be happy with it, we want them to enjoy this, we want them to buy a yearbook,” she added. “But if someone isn’t happy with it, it is not a senior class decision – it is the yearbook staff’s, and this is a yearbook staff decision.”
Buller has taken the brunt of most of the controversy, however, it was her staff that made the decision. Buller will continue to stand behind her yearbook staff regarding any decision they make as long as it is line with the Kansas Scholastic Press Association.
“It wasn’t my decision, it was a staff decision,” she said. “So we did this as a staff, and I told my staff I would support their decision. Honestly, as an advisor, there really isn’t anything I can say about it if my staff wants to do it.”
LHS has not yet been awarded for its yearbook layout. Buller said she has high hopes for her staff. She added that sometimes changes are necessary for such recognition to be given to the staff for their work.
“We aren’t there yet, but we hope to get there – and this is one of the ways to do that,” she said of the changes being made. “There have been years that it has been a struggle. We are really trying to build something good here and this is something that just has to happen.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Several students will relate their views on the new design layout next week.