ES yearbook covers

Captured in a Yearbook

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.