After a year of preparation, the yearbook is out and has been distributed by the photojournalism students who created it ever since May 30.
“It’s really nice right after we finish because it takes a weight off of our shoulders,” editor-in-chief and senior Julia Gasse said. “When we all huddle together and open up the first box of yearbooks, it’s the best feeling because we’re visually seeing all of our year’s work pay off.”
The theme of the 2016-17 edition, “Start With One,” highlights the FCPSOn program and Principal Teresa Johnson’s challenge for staff members to make at least one major change in classroom practice this year.
“The theme this year is the best theme we’ve ever had because it is really linked to the one-to-one initiative of the computers,” yearbook adviser Mary Kay Downes said. “That’s why our theme this year is ‘Start With One,’ and we’re very excited about that.”
Many students have dedicated an immense amount of time and effort into ensuring the success of the book, a yearlong effort of a magnitude that is difficult to comprehend.
“I think a lot of people don’t realize the amount of time we spend in the classroom,” Gasse said. “In the beginning of the school year, we were staying after every single day trying to get everything organized. We get all the content that’s in the book ourselves, so it’s a lot of hard work.”
An effective yearbook moves students not only at the year’s end, but also long after graduation.
“I got a phone call from a man who graduated in 1977, and he asked if we had a 1977 yearbook,” Downes said. “I said I could take a picture and send it, and he said ‘When I look back in my life, I value my years at Chantilly much more now than I ever did before, and it would make me so happy to be able to recall those days by looking through the yearbook.’ I said ‘Sir, you will receive [a yearbook] tomorrow.’ I took one, I [sent] it to him and I never regretted it.”
Student artistic expression is showcased in Andromeda, the school’s literary-arts magazine.
“[It’s] a magazine that comes out with the yearbook. It has artwork and writing from students from around the school,” editor-in-chief and senior Sudharshana Krishnan said. “Our goal is to showcase all of the unique talents that are within our school that people don’t always get to see.”
After gathering artwork and written pieces from students around the school, the Andromeda staff formulated a theme inclusive of the selected works.
“We try to make [the theme] one word that encompasses the whole magazine, which is pretty difficult because they’re all so different and can’t necessarily be categorized into one [theme],” Krishnan said. “After looking at the pieces, we came up with the word ‘Emerge.’ All of [the works] talk about different people’s personalities and how they are emerging from within.”
In contrast to other school publications, work on the magazine isn’t done in a designated class, but instead is fully produced after school by anybody who wishes to participate.
“Anybody can join; it’s like any other after school [activity],” Krishnan said. “It’s a very small group of people that put it together.”
Even with relatively few on the staff, the end result of Andromeda showcases student creativity and promotes artistic appreciation within the community.
“It’s cool that a small group of people who are really passionate about writing and visual art put together this 28-page magazine, and it looks professional,” Krishnan said. “It’s by the students for the students.”