Club Spotlight: Yearbook

Club Spotlight: Yearbook

Sarah Rothman, Writer

The school yearbook allows everyone to be able to reflect on years past. Looking at all of the events, spirit weeks, school portraits, and signatures is a beloved end-of-year tradition. Despite the club’s contribution, it can sometimes be overlooked. This club is also beneficial to students interested in journalism or photography. Overall, the students gain skills that will last a lifetime, and joining the club is a good way to meet new people and get involved within the school’s community. 

I was able to speak with the teacher that directs the yearbook club, Silvana Sarmiento Pantaleon. The details and highlights of the interview are below: 


Q: What made you want to sponsor the school yearbook?

A: The past director was giving up the position, and since I am a language teacher and do not get to meet a variety of the student population, I decided to apply for the job. I also wanted to get more involved and make a contribution to the school.


Q: What is your favorite part of putting together the yearbook?

A: My favorite part is seeing how students grow through the years here at the high school and as a staff member. I also enjoy seeing the staff’s ideas for the cover each year and how they contribute to the overall final product. 


Q: What tools do students gain by being a part of the yearbook?

A: Students can use their artistic skills as well as improve their photography skills. They can get involved in the editing and publishing process, and gain communication and leadership skills. 


Q: Why would you encourage students to join the yearbook?

A: Joining can get students a head start if they want to pursue a career in journalism or publishing—it can also be put on their resume. Students also get to have input on the content and leave their mark on the school’s yearbook. 


Q: What was your involvement in the yearbook and journalism in your high school career?

A: Since I grew up in Argentina, my school did not have school yearbooks. When I came to the States, I started getting involved and joined the Yearbook class during my senior year in high school. Even before I became the Yearbook director here at Abington Senior High,  I tried to make contributions in the high school I taught at in Virginia. 


Q: Do you have a favorite yearbook cover?

A: I think each yearbook is special in some way and has its memories. If I have to pick one from the ones I published, I would say the 2022 yearbook is on top of my list for its cover. The student population and teachers loved the yearbook cover.


Q: Do you have a favorite memory of the yearbook?

A: Each year, it is an adventure. For the 2019-2020 school year, shutting down due to COVID created some real challenges for the yearbook staff and me. We had to be more creative and do regular Zoom meetings to get the yearbook finished, published, and distributed. In general, I love seeing students learn new ways of editing and creating the final product. I also love to see how each twelfth grader has grown throughout the years together. The 2022 yearbook was quite special to me as my daughter, Isabela McGillis, a senior at that time, was the Editor-in-Chief. With the help of all our staff, we were able to create an awesome yearbook. As a matter of fact, it sold out for the first time in eight years. It was a great accomplishment as a Yearbook Director.