When Co-Editor-In-Chief Sofia Menna ‘20 found out about school closing because of the COVID-19 virus, her heart dropped. Although she immediately questioned how the Tabulae staff would be able to finish the yearbook by April 6, their final deadline, she remained confident that the students would persevere.
“Kerry [Conneely ‘20], Sofia, and I would have daily meetings to talk about how the book would need to change as a result of each day’s reports,” adviser Joseph Maffey said. “I’m sure at first they thought I was overreacting to something that seemed so far away, but I’m so proud of their leadership and maturity at focusing on the book even while the things that they most looked forward to during their senior year were disappearing.”
At the beginning of the shelter-in-place order, there were still 82 pages that needed to be edited and another 74 pages that needed to be created for the final deadline, Maffey said. With a total of 156 pages of the 460 page book left, the staff downloaded the trial version of Adobe Creative Cloud on their home computers and were able to adjust to the changes.
“Our staff has been great at working from home and sending things in on time while also pushing through the many technology problems,” Menna said. “We zoom sometimes and we are still talking while working together with all our pages.”
Since the spring sports season was cut short for many teams, the staff needed to add content to fill that space, Maffey said. They had a goal of capturing what it was like for students this year so people are able to reflect on their high school experience many years from now.
The yearbook will now feature a 12-page-long coronavirus section that focuses on a variety of topics such as e-learning, how the community responded, what people did during the stay-at-home order, and how teaching changed. There will also be a page comparing the 1918 pandemic to this year’s.
Staff members spent hours working from home to gather quotes and put together final spreads during the time out of school to reach their deadline. The staff was able to finish the book by April 6, their original deadline, at 8:23 p.m.
“The staff has created an amazing book that people are going to be blown away by,” Maffey said. “I’m so proud of the work that they put in all year to make a tangible record of the 2019-2020 school year.”
The yearbook is coming out virtually on May 15.