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PSU hosts area high school yearbook students

Tom Shields, sales representative with Josten’s, speaks to high school students from Southeast Kansas about yearbook trends on Thursday, Sept. 16. The conference is held to teach students on how to create an effective yearbook. Dominic Santiago

Pittsburg State University hosted high school yearbook students from the Southeast Kansas and Southwest Missouri areas. The event gave students the opportunity to learn from professional designers, artists, and writers about the best way to create a yearbook.

Jostens, a company used by many high schools for yearbook design and printing, school apparel, and class rings, ran the event as part of their outreach to help students learn about yearbook design.

The company brought in designers and other professionals and gave the schools that participated an opportunity to talk one-on-one about ideas they have for their yearbooks.

Mark Stefan, yearbook advisor for Golden City High School in Golden City, MO talked about the importance of students hearing how to make a successful yearbook from professionals.

“When you come in here, sometimes it’s the same speech over and over again,” Stefan said. “But it’s nice for the kids to hear it coming from someone else besides the teacher that constantly sits there and teaches them about these skills.”

Stefan sees the event as an opportunity for students to see the past and future of yearbook design and apply it to their ideas.

“You get to see the new trends, the new ideas and see where they’re wanting to go with the books in the future,” Stefan said. “Yearbooks are not always going to be the same as the new ones and trends come and go.”

The idea of yearbook trends was talked about during the sessions. Tom Shields, sales representative for Jostens, spoke to students about current trends that have been successful in other areas of the country. His presentation highlighted the ways that other high school students have created unique sections of their yearbook. He talks about how every student at a high school has a story to tell. Shields wants students to understand what good and bad strategies are when creating a yearbook.

“(This event) will give them a basis going forward on things they should do and things they should not do,” Shield said. “It exposes them to things they might not normally be exposed to in yearbook. I hope they become enthused about yearbook. They get excited about their project and that they get a cool cover on their book.”

The event started with students looking through past yearbooks from schools around their area and across the country. This provides students with the chance to find ideas for their own yearbook. It also allows students to see mistakes in other schools’ yearbooks.

“They can find ideas from the past, because not everything in the past is bad,” Shields said. “Some things are worth redoing and some things are worth not doing again, so it will provide them a good road map of where to take their book and when they look at other schools, things they have done, they steal ideas from those as well.”

Shields hopes the event will inspire yearbook students to think about new ways to create a yearbook.

“I hope they get some organization of ideas,” Shields said. “I hope it’s a bonding moment and that they maybe get a little bit of adaptation of ideas. I hope this reaches out and changes their typical view.”

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