The yearbook staff overcomes obstacles to complete this year’s book


Lone Star Yearbook

Listed from top to bottom: Editor-in-Chief Logan Dorsey, Lone Star Yearbook Adviser Lindsey Shirack, Editor-in-Chief Emma Wake, and Editor-in-Chief Ryan Kinney meet on a Zoom conference in order to finalize the yearbook. Although the yearbook staff has been able to complete this year’s book, plans for distribution are still underway.

Shruti Patel, Online Managing Editor

Since the closure of Austin Independent School District (AISD) campuses, many organizations have faced hardships as they attempt to continue their scheduled plans. One organization that has had to overcome adversity is the yearbook.

The yearbook staff has been forced to adjust to a lack of access to in-class technology and work time due to COVID-19. Although the yearbook is still publishing, the distribution details are still to be determined.

“As to when it’s being released, we don’t really have an answer because the COVID-19 situation in Dallas, where our Balfour printing plant is, is still changing daily,” senior Editor-in-Chief Logan Dorsey said. “It was due to open back up in early April, however, it’s now pushed back to reopen sometime in late May.”

The yearbook was not fully complete prior to the shutdown of AISD campuses; however, the staff is accommodating to their resources at home to complete the yearbook.

“Luckily we were close to the final processes of publishing, which means the Editors-in-Chief, Logan Dorsey, Ryan Kinney, and Emma Wake, were doing final checks and changes,” Lone Star Yearbook Adviser Lindsey Shirack said. “Usually we utilize the rest of the yearbook staff to help check name spellings, tag for the index, or proofread, so it was difficult not having all those extra hands and eyes to help.”

The yearbook staff had a few applications that they used before the closure of school which has helped them finish the yearbook.

“We’ve actually been able to adjust pretty well to working from home, seeing as how we already had a platform set up that allows us to communicate with our staff easily,” Dorsey said. “We use the app Band to post photos to get identification if we don’t know the student and we can ask for contact info so that we can get quotes and it’s been a real life saver.”

In addition to communicating through Band to communicate to the staff, the main editors have been hosting Zoom calls to finish up the book.

“Me and the other Editors-in-Chief, Ryan and Logan, have had multiple zoom calls with our advisor Lindsey Shirack where we are still able to give input on designs,” senior Editor-in-Chief Emma Wake said.

In the Zoom meetings, the editors have also discussed ideas for distribution that could ensure that everyone who ordered a yearbook receives a copy.

“[A plan] being that we wait until campus is officially open to the public and have a drive-through distribution then; however, this could be over the summer in June or July but again we don’t have an actual timeline due to the uncertainty of Coronavirus updates,” Wake said. “Worst case scenario we would have a fall distribution when school starts up again next year and figure out a way to get books to seniors by either having parents pick them up or creating a senior yearbook event.”

The yearbook added a spread pertaining to COVID-19 to cover this unique time.

“We had two content editors, Mariah Barsotti & Grace Conlan, who took on the COVID-19 spread, which actually just won third in the nation from the National Scholastic Press Association,” Shirack said.

Shirack has expressed that her staff has managed to continue to look at the positives during these unexpected times, and that they hope the yearbook can serve as a memory of the good things this year as well as a reminder of the obstacles student’s have overcome.

“This yearbook will help students remember all of this year, not just this disruption, and for many students, getting their copy may be the only normal thing left,” Shirack said. “My staff captured more photos this year than we ever have, from club meetings to practices to playoffs to lab experiments and on and on; i’m so proud of the work they have done and hope this yearbook can help us all carry forward more than just this present reality.”

This story will be updated with new information about the yearbook distribution.