A New Reality For Southwestern’s Yearbook

Pictured, left, are Junie Eimiller, adviser; Faith Williams; Tjitze Kranzo; Taylor Dewey; Jordyn Romaniuk; Adrianna Bell; Janie Adam; Bailee Dent; and Mark Kirsch, adviser. Missing from photo are Alyssa Kalfas, Cara Orr and Becca Feldman.

The staff members of the Southwestern High School Centralian yearbook added an exciting new aspect to their publication this year– video. Through the augmented reality program Aurasma, the Centralian extended the meaning of this year’s theme, “IM IN” by allowing the readers to relive their experiences from the past school year. To bring the photographs to life, all students had to do was download the Aurasma App and follow the southwesternyearbook channel. Then, whenever a Southwestern Trojan appeared, students could hover the Aurasma App on their phones over the photo and the embedded video would play. The videos ranged from the choraliers singing in the front hall to individual students speaking to actual live footage from the 2017 presidential inauguration taken by a student, Jared Yaggie, who attended the event.

“In addition to implementing augmented reality, we wanted to challenge our team of photographers, writers and editors to develop a yearbook that ‘broke the mold’ of traditional yearbook reportage,” explained Centralian advisers Junie Eimiller and Mark Kirsch.

As a result of that challenge, they produced a book that is less a catalog of events and more a complete remembrance guide. The editors ignored the traditional fall, winter, spring ladder sequence and instead based the book on six distinct themes reflecting the character of the students of Southwestern: “Innovative, Captivating, Empowering, Intriguing, Inspiring,” and the overarching “IM IN.”

The book highlights the interests and activities of a broad cross-section of the student body, from attending the presidential inauguration, to hosting a Down’s Syndrome Society Buddy Walk” to participating in JCC’s Stem Wars or the local college consortium. But while it changes the focus to participation in individual and group endeavors, the Centralian doesn’t leave out the record-keeping aspect of a proper yearbook. The teams, the teachers, the clubs and organizations are all featured- but with a twist, and a look to the future of book publication. Because for this group of yearbook editors, “IM IN” meant “All IN.”