WHS students make their own yearbooks by Lindsay Nelson Wakonda students create, layout, produce photography, print, and bind their own yearbooks. The money-hungry annual that used to cost $4,000 is now making money.
Up until two years ago, mega-company Jostens cornered the yearbook market. Jostens was charging $4,000 for 100 books and the school only sold about 50.
Wakonda had to order 100 books, which was the minimum order for any school. When it came time to pay for the yearbooks the school's general fund always had to help with the cost.
Stacy Huber, desktop publishing teacher, was told by Wakonda's principal at the time to either figure out how the school can make their own yearbook or come up with a better plan.
With the help of Tod Bak, technology coordinator, the school bought a colored printer with TTL money, a teaching academy paid by the state, and used Microsoft Publisher for software.
The school also had a digital camera that could take high qualitiy photos, which proved to be very helpful.
"No longer did we have to take film in to get it developed or did we have to waste film to get the perfect picture. We bought our own paper and printed 50 pages off of each page," said Mrs. Huber.
Now the students are able to be involved in every critical part of the yearbook. They set up a financial budget, go out to get sponsors, create the layouts, take the pictures, learn photo software and publishing software, print it, and bind it.
The yearbook went from costing each student $40 with Jostens to $20 and it is now all in color. The Jostens yearbooks were mostly black and white with a few exceptions of pages in color.
"Since this time many schools have contacted me about how to do it. They are getting pressure from their boards to find a more cost-effective way as well. I am so glad it happened; it is a better learning tool for the students and it saves money for the school," said Mrs. Huber.
The Wakonda School students have definitely benefited from making their own yearbooks. Now they make the yearbooks and also the memories that go in them.