Daniel Shawyer

W&L High School freshman Daniel Shawyer was the winner of the first W&L Yearbook contest. He won for the best Thanksgiving dessert.

A small group of dedicated students have taken on the herculean task of creating this year’s Washington & Lee High School yearbook. Traditionally, a yearbook is a culmination of activities that take place over the year in a school. Since the Coronavirus has transformed the way education is being delivered at W&L and all other schools, the efforts of the yearbook squad have magnified in importance and productivity. Their new norm is being led by Google meetings, depending on virtual content, and trying to find an avenue to utilize picture production and advertising challenges. Aptly named, this year’s yearbook theme is called “Rise Up – The View is Better 2020-2021.”

While the number of activities at the high school have dwindled, the yearbook staff have diligently been tracking ways that W&L students and teachers have adapted in the new school education model. They recently initiated a monthly event to encourage students to participate in fun activities. For Thanksgiving, they held the “Best Thanksgiving Dessert Contest.” The staff selected the best and worst dessert used for the holiday. Entrants had to submit a picture of themselves with their dessert. Winner Daniel Shawyer (9th) was awarded a special prize for his best pie efforts. For Christmas, students will hold the familiar “Ugly Holiday Sweater” contest. A collage of winning photos will be featured in this year’s yearbook.

Challenges abound for the yearbook staff. Chronicling a year that features virtual education presents a number of trials. The staff is being asked to “think outside the box” on the pictorial and editorial pieces.

At a recent meeting, the students were tasked on how to market the sale of advertisements for the yearbook. Scenarios on how to make an initial contact and how best to introduce themselves to local businesses were discussed. In an effort to create more income for the yearbook endeavor rates have been changed. Business editor Barry Ewell will begin contacting local businesses in late December.

In an attempt to raise funds, the yearbook staff is selling old yearbooks for a bargain rate of $5 per book. Yearbooks are available for the years 1987, 1992, 1994, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017. Students are hoping to encourage folks to purchase one of these for alumni family members for holiday gifts.

All Washington & Lee High School students are encouraged to join the yearbook staff. Currently, meetings are being held on Google Meets on Monday afternoons at 2:30 p.m. The team is small, but dedicated to making this year’s yearbook one to keep. The W&L yearbook staff is led by Barry Ewell (9th), Brooklyn Pate (9th), Mykia Redmond (12th), Alicen McIntosh (12th), and Zada Sudduth (12th).  Yearbook advisors are Mrs. Yanira Carter and Mrs. Carolene Lewis. Students should contact Mrs. Carter or Mrs. Lewis if interested in joining the yearbook team. To purchase a yearbook, contact the front office at W&L 804-493-8015.