Yearbook Changes: Mr. DiGennaro Takes the Lead

At the end of the long school year, a certain 400 students open an unusually large book filled with countless pages and memories. This is known as a yearbook, created by many Morris Hills students throughout the school year. The yearbook-building process is more difficult than it seems — it must be run like a business in order for success. Fortunately, at our school, it’s run by a business teacher— this year, that teacher is Mr. DiGennaro.  Mr. DiGennaro said that he chose to take the job as it would be a new challenge for him to face.

Over the summer, in order to prepare for the job, he took training classes and met with past yearbook advisors to learn how to run the class. This year had a record number of yearbook students enrolled, with up to almost 50 students taking the elective. This posed a conflict for Mr. D because rather than teaching a couple of students, he found himself teaching two blocks. Fortunately, Mr. D has found that he loves the job. He says, “It’s just like running a business. We have a product to make and sell, and we all need to work together in order to do that.”

However, Mr. D acknowledges difficulties.  He realizes that due to the number of students, it is quite difficult to get everyone involved. Some students have been left without a spread to work on, and others work on other projects that are not directly related to the yearbook. Yearbook is meant to be a class where students express their creativity.  Organization is also extremely important.  If the class is not organized, then how is it a business? Students in room 119 sit at the computers and open Walsworth Yearbooks, the site used to produce the yearbook. There, they work on spreads and communicate with Mr. D. However, communication between all of the students is difficult because the class is split into A-day and B-day blocks. 

At this time, the yearbook classes have been working on various spreads and taking photographs of the school and students. During a typical class, Mr. D discusses the agenda for the day, and the students begin working on their projects. Most of the students focus their work on sports spreads, while others work on portrait pages and dividers. The printing is done by the company Walsworth Yearbooks, so it is not something the team has to worry about. Walsworth provides an easy and simple way to add pictures, create textboxes, and design a yearbook page pleasing to the eye. It certainly lessens the time needed for the spreads.

The editor-in-chief, Adriana Rios, has worked on two prior yearbooks, alongside Ms. Burgin and Ms. Sabatini, before working with Mr. D in her final year at Morris Hills. She is very experienced with the creation of the yearbook and was able to assist Mr. D throughout his first year with the process. Adriana agrees that since this is the first year of there being two yearbook classes, Mr. D has to do a lot more work. She says that she would usually “use[s] up [her] free block to stay in his class and work on the yearbook and discuss plans.”  She finds that Mr. D is a very encouraging teacher. Despite the yearbook’s stressful nature and environment, he is doing an amazing job keeping command of the number of students.

Adriana Vargas, a freshman in the yearbook, feels that Mr. D is very kind, flexible, and easy to work with. Every class, he makes sure to write an agenda of what students must get done, so they do not lose track. He respects and helps out every student while also understanding their opinions. Without these little commodities, the yearbook would not be where it is today. Adriana finds that his valuable encouragement wants her to get more involved with the yearbook. As a newcomer, she feels that Mr. D is doing a great job teaching the class and the yearbook is going to be sensational.

The yearbook team is proud to announce the 2022-2023 yearbook theme is Spotify. They will be intently working throughout the remainder of the year to produce a beautiful yearbook. There is definitely a positive outlook on Mr. D’s rule, which is fantastic! The Yearbook Kingdom has gained a new leader, yet instead of falling, it will thrive.