Ephrata High School’s Student Media

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The Power of Storytelling and the Students’ Voice

The+Power+of+Storytelling+and+the+Students+Voice

The creation of the annual high school yearbook is an age-old tradition, much like the sweet scent of autumn in the air as the school year begins. With the early days of the school year marked by bustling hallways, students anxiously searching for their new classrooms, and laughter echoing through the corridors, the yearbook captures the essence of these moments. This year, the unspoken theme emerges as “It’s What Makes Us.”

“In our yearbook, we’re not just compiling photos; we’re chronicling unity, of students coming together,” emphasizes Editor-in-Chief Peyton Trautman.

As the school year begins, new friendships form, old ones are rekindled, and every student embarks on a unique journey. From the freshmen nervously finding their classes to the seniors cherishing their final year, these early moments in the school year are unforgettable.

“The early days of the school year are like a blank canvas,” remarks Trautman. “Every student is part of the tapestry that creates our shared experience, and the yearbook is where it all comes together.” The yearbook’s pages capture the evolving stories of these young minds, recording the choices they make, the growth opportunities they seize, and the motivating factors that define their character.

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There is a lot that goes into the design elements of a yearbook.  The staff emphasizes the importance of visually connecting these narratives. “Designing a yearbook that is visually pleasing and connected from page to page is about making sure our shared journey is beautifully documented and easily relived,” states Makaena Judkins, design editor for The Eye.

Beyond the hallways and classroom walls, the activities and events that unfold in and around the school campus foster a sense of unity. Sporting events, club meetings, and cultural celebrations bring students together, leaving indelible marks on their high school memories.

The words within the pages of the yearbook are under the careful watch of Jaemyson Durfee.  As The Eye’s copy editor, Durfee is tasked with the responsibility of storytelling and maintaining the students’ voice. “A yearbook is more than just pictures; it’s about telling the whole story, ensuring that every student’s voice is heard through the pages,” says Durfee.

“At Ephrata High School, we aim to create a yearbook that embodies our theme,” says Peyton Trautman. “It’s not just a collection of photos; it’s a chronicle of unity, a visual story that reflects the essence of our school year.”

“As the year unfolds,” Trautman adds, “students will find themselves immortalized within the pages of their high school yearbooks. Their experiences, choices, and growth opportunities, interwoven with moments of unity, create a narrative of the past that inspires the future.”

The high school yearbook is not just a snapshot of the present; it is a time capsule that preserves the essence of youth, the nostalgia of beginnings, and the unity of shared experiences. As students flip through its pages in years to come, they will be reminded that it is not just a book—it is a cherished bridge to the past, connecting what was, what is, and what will be.

To purchase your copy of the 2023-2024 yearbook, “The Eye,” visit www.yearbookordercenter.com and select code 17469 or stop by the Ephrata High School Office.  The deadline for seniors to turn in their yearbook photo is December 1, 2023.  Seniors can email their photos to [email protected].

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About the Contributor
J. Ryan Shannon, Adviser
Broadcast Journalism + Digital Media Yearbook Adviser Mr. Shannon is a nationally accredited professional in public relations (APR designee) and a recognized subject matter expert in media relations and sports management.  Currently, he is the broadcast, digital media, and yearbook instructor at Ephrata High School in Ephrata, Washington.  Following a more than a twenty-year career in marketing and communications, Mr. Shannon entered the education pathway to bring his knowledge and expertise to tomorrow's leaders.  His expertise in corporate branding, graphic communications, and media is often sought after for consultation. In addition to his teaching duties, Mr. Shannon is the adviser of Ephrata High School's FBLA chapter and serves as the director of TigerVision, Ephrata High School's multimedia program. TigerVision regularly broadcasts more than 100 athletic and extra-curricular events, as well as special content created for the school district and community partners.  A former collegiate and high school athletic administrator, he is a member of the National Association of Sports Public Address Announcers and serves as the "Tiger Voice" at many sporting events. Mr. Shannon is a member of the Ephrata High School softball program's coaching staff.  The father of four daughters, he enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, and listening to music. Memberships: Journalism Education Association, National Scholastic Press Association, Student Television Network, Academy of Scholastic Broadcasting, and the Future Business Leaders of America. Email me with any questions. Contact me via Twitter @jrshannon19 Follow TigerVision Media on all our social media platforms: Facebook: @tigervision Twitter: @tigervisiontv IG: @tigervisiontv and @ephratayearbook
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