When yearbook advisor Phillip Nobblitt received his certification as an English teacher, he never planned on becoming an adviser for a school publication. That changed when he was offered the position in Madison Country.
“I had absolutely zero experience with photojournalism anything. I had never even held an SLR camera,” Nobblit said. “I decided to give it a shot, and now I think I probably would never accept a position that didn’t include yearbook.”
After he became the advisor of The Eyrie last fall, Nobblitt emphasized the yearbook’s advertising program. He more than tripled the number of ads in the yearbook and spread out the sales responsibilities evenly among the staff. He also required the staff to use state-of-the-art publishing software, InDesign, whichgives the students life and career skills.
Senior Abby Averna has been on yearbook staff since her freshman year, but had to drop this year because of conflicts with AP classes. She helped write features and edit pages on her own time.
“I think [Nobblitt] did a great job in that whole transition. It’s already hard to come into something that is already a rolling process,” Averna said. “Walsworth’s [online program] had a lot of malfunctions with some things we could and couldn’t do, so I think this new application was nice; it looked a lot cleaner.”
As the photography editor-in-chief, junior Savanna Rota appreciates the changes Nobblitt has made.
“He’s really organized and extremely OCD,” Rota said. “He’s really ‘go with the flow’ and lets you do your own thing. He can be relaxed, but people don’t walk all over him.”
The theme of the 2015 yearbook is Faces of Fauquier, inspired by the designs on blogs such as Humans of New York. The theme highlights the diversity of the student population and showcases as many students as possible.
Junior Rachel Crawford thought the cover was the best feature.
“I like the idea of the cover having a bunch of different students from Fauquier,” Crawford said. “It was really well done. It had more stories on specific students than it did in the past.”
The student response to the yearbook has been very positive. According to junior Hannah Savignac, the colors throughout the yearbook enhance its quality.
“I really liked the color variation,” Savignac said. “It draws your attention; this year’s actually looks like a high school yearbook. You actually know someone on the cover.”
The yearbook staff chooses the theme and performs the majority of the work to publish the book. Averna originally came up with the theme last spring. She thought it would be a creative change.
“I thought it was really clean and simple,” Averna said. “I wanted [the students] to be inspired and almost nostalgic that they had come this far and that they had a book they could reopen to any part of the previous year and relive it.”
Nobblitt emphasizes the importance of each student completing his or her responsibilities; he takes great pride in the finished product.
“One of my students used the analogy of having a baby,” Nobblitt said. “There’s planning involved, then there are the initial stages of the growth and development. Then, when the books get here on the truck, it’s like birthing day. As absurd as it sounds, it’s true.”
Nobblitt said that encouraging students to be independent teaches them leadership skills and helps them develop their own writing style and voice.
“I quickly learned in my experience that it’s not my publication, and I never want it to be my publication,” Nobblitt said. “I take pride in putting it in the students’ hands. I want them to create a product that they can be proud of.”
Senior Katie Crofford, editor-in-chief, dedicated about 450 hours of time, working during advisory and lunch to finish the book on time. Staff members said that Crofford is integral to the success of this year’s book, and they threw a “Katie Appreciation Day” surprise party for her.
“My favorite thing about yearbook is just the people in it,” Crofford said. “Sometimes they can be annoying, but we all love each other. They know how to make you laugh; even when you are having a bad day, it’s still fun.”
~ nina quiles, staff reporter