As students open the cover of their yearbook and flip through its pages, they’ll discover the encapsulating humor and sentiments of the student body. They’ll reflect on the teachers who became mentors along the way, or the smiles that graced their faces remembering their first dance. They’ll remember their school spirit and how they rallied behind aspiring athletes toward victory, or how they supported students who triumphed over diversity.
The Seabreeze is a keepsake of memories. But how are those memories captured and documented and who are the students behind the Seabreeze?
The earliest known Seabreeze dates back to 1919 when Seaside High School was called Union High School. This year marks the 112th volume of the Seabreeze.
Amy Rider teaches the yearbook class, which runs yearlong (three terms), but some students take the class on a term basis due to scheduling conflicts. The class is kept small — a maximum of 12 students — however, the current staff consists of seven students, and Rider noted there would be nine students next term. “We have a 75 percent return rate. The students who really find a passion for journalism, photography and design tend to return every year.”
The class teaches transferable skills that can be used for other classes as well as benefiting the students in their future college and career goals. Rider noted that the list is “almost endless” and includes journalism, time management and working collaboratively. Some of those skills, according to junior Dalton Smith, are communication — verbal and written — photography and graphic design. Smith has been given the task of Ambassador of Fun and takes absolute ownership of his duties. He says he has the gift of talking, so it is up to him to make the phone calls needed to help in the completion of the yearbook.
Smith said this is his first full year after taking the class previously for one term. It’s also his first time tackling the job of photographing and interviewing athletes for the sports pages, which he noted has been a lot of fun. And, the sports pages are a testament of Smith’s design skills that he has also enjoyed being a part of.
Each year, the class attends a yearbook camp for three days at Willamette University where students work with representatives and designers of Herff Jones. During camp, they choose a cover design and material, as well as brainstorm different themes.
Last year’s theme was “One,” which the staff felt was incredibly apt given the close-knit community, Rider said. “This year’s theme is equally impressive, but it’s a closely guarded secret until the books are distributed.”
The Seabreeze is a student-run business. Students need to commit to one period each day and evenings as needed — even if it means until midnight when deadlines approach. They also must commit to graduation night, Rider said, explaining it is at that time when the students finish the annex (the part of the book that includes graduation photos and end-of-the-year activities that couldn’t make it into the main part of the yearbook), which requires a lot of physical and manual labor on the part of the students.
Once the annex is completed, it is printed locally at Lazerquick and afterwards, the students prepare the books for the senior class. They put the pages together by using a bookmaker machine, paste each annex into the back of the main book then distribute the yearbooks to the seniors at the all night graduation party. “Typically,” Rider added, “we work until 2 to 3 a.m. that day.” Underclassmen receive their yearbooks on the last day of school.
“One of the most powerful things about being a student on the yearbook staff is that the skills they learn are immediately useful in the ‘real world’ of journalism and publishing in general. The Seabreeze teaches them financial responsibility and gives them ownership of their publication. There is something for almost everyone, regardless of type or level of skill; it’s a place to learn new things, polish and perfect already acquired aptitudes,” Rider said.
The editorial staff is chosen based on past performance and seniority with additional input from school counselors and teachers. “We look for students with leadership potential and motivation to produce a quality product,” Rider said. The editor-in-chief and Rider, based on individual preference and specific strengths, divide the work.
For instance, Rider looks for artistic designers to make the end sheets, cover art and divider pages. “For students who are more interested in the business side of yearbook production, I would have them head up ad sales. And, of course, our more social students will be assigned to conduct interviews and create copy for the various pages.”
Rider teaches two classes of resource support for students with learning disabilities, a pre-algebra class, the Yearbook class and is the assistant Cheer coach. This is Rider’s second year as the SHS yearbook advisor. Susan Baertlein, the previous advisor, teamed with Rider to help her in the transition. “The rest,” Rider said, “has been on the job training.”
To the freshmen at Seaside High School, this is the first of four yearbooks they’ll receive. For the seniors, this yearbook will be their last — a compilation of memories rolled into one, yet, marking the beginning of what is to come.