by Jason Gottlieb
Two weeks prior to this past Monday, I met with a parent of a 4th grader and 6th grader. It was the day after spring break. She had emailed me with the subject line, “Yearbooks,” just before break. Yikes. That email sent a chill down my spine. I had been thinking about the elementary school yearbook but put it aside because of so much time spent this year in remote learning. Being that this year was so different, how would we capture the year in images if so much of it was children in front of a computer? I was leaning heavily toward not having a yearbook this year. And yet, after meeting with the parent who emailed, my “no yearbook” was quickly changed to, “Yes, let’s do it.” This is one reason why Waverly is so special – it is rooted in a thoughtful, participatory community.
With just weeks of school left in the year, two parents came forward and made a yearbook happen, from finding an online company that could publish and ship them in time, to finding the most efficient way to gather a lot of photos, and then soliciting the parents who would do the layout and get the book completed in, wait for it, just one week.
They did it! And we did it. The teachers offered all the photos they could, and parents spent time locating pictures of their child(ren) and uploading them into the cloud. It was a mad dash of collecting memories from everyone, everywhere, and creating layouts and backgrounds and who knows what else, but it was a flurry. The best part – this collected effort was for the kids. Every child who spent this year with us at Waverly. It was for them. Their resilience and positive attitude during a year that was “challenging” in the best of circumstances, a year where laughter and community did exist without being in-person, a year where learning and connection developed through a screen for most of the school year. All of this deserved to somehow be captured in a yearbook. This may truly be the yearbook that has the most meaning for the children, because this year was so unique.
I want to give a big shout out and thank you to Katie Taylor and Holly Maxon for taking the lead on this project and organizing, coordinating, and inevitably receiving thousands of emails during the last two weeks! Katie and Holly, as well as the parents below, who created layouts for each classroom, deserve a solid virtual hug!
Preschool: Tamara Barnett-Herrin
Kindergarten: Wendy Ha & Megan McGuiness
K/1: Elizabeth Craig
1/2: Holly Maxon & Keirda Ballard
2/3: Craig Kyle
4: Katie Taylor & Kristen/Rob Hoegee
5/6 (Molly): Kristina Lear & Jessica Allen
5/6 (Stina): Stina, Mo Perkins, & Liz DeRobertis
Waverly never ceases to amaze me. This community of children, teachers, and parents seems to rise to any challenge. If ever there was a challenge, it was this year. We will be handing out elementary school yearbooks to each child in the last weeks of school. I can’t think of a better way to end the school year.