Above and Beyond: 2010 yearbook is tops, firm says

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By Don Pace

By Don Pace

Las Vegas Optic 

In 1973, Barbara Streisand sang, “Scattered pictures, of the smiles we left behind, smiles we gave to one another. Misty water -- colored memories of the way we were.”

One way high school graduates in America have of remembering their friends is looking through their yearbook. And with every yearbook comes a staff that has worked for a year collecting and preserving those memories.

This year, Robertson High School yearbook editors Brandie Lopez and Chris Olivas and their staff not only collected and preserved many special memories of the class of 2010, but earned a prestigious award. 

In a letter to yearbook adviser Diane Garcia, Walsworth Publishing said this year’s Robertson yearbook had been inducted into the company’s Gallery of Excellence.

“The Gallery of Excellence is a showcase of yearbooks produced by our  customers. Yearbooks chosen for the gallery are distinguished by their comprehensive coverage, innovative design and superior copy and photographs,” wrote Jim Worthington of Walsworth Publishing.

In his letter, Worthington said only a small percentage of the yearbooks the company publishes are chosen for this distinction.   

Superintendent Rick Romero said the special thing about the yearbook is that it’s all done by students.

“Sponsors and advisers should be just that. Something like the yearbook should be a student-generated, student-led type of program. So when you have students like Brandie, Christopher, and the rest of the yearbook staff stand up and accept that responsibility, it’s great to see them excel.” Romero said.

Romero said having the yearbook picked as one of the best in the nation bodes well for the school, for the program, for the appearance of the yearbook, and most important, for the kids. 

“Often times, when you can’t get the support of your peers, you end up doing it alone, and as I understand, they had good support from a wide variety of students and that shows leadership. So it’s wonderful to have the opportunity to not only be the recipients of this recognition, but to recognize the students and sponsor as well,” Romero said.

Romero said another thing some people in this area take for granted is the special way yearbook signing day is handled.  

“One of the nice traditions I’ve seen here in Las Vegas is during senior week we feed all the kids, and then the yearbooks are passed out. So the amphitheater becomes a conglomeration of all of our students and you see camaraderie taking place, the joy and excitement when they see their pictures. You know, I have mine and my mom has hers, she graduated in 1958, and she still has those yearbooks,” Romero said. 

Principal Eddie King said the yearbook is a reflection of Cardinal pride.

“I think this year’s publication will certainly exemplify that. I understand the book has a wonderful layout, comprehensive coverage, exemplary photography, all areas of print media have been exhibited. They’re now inducted into the Gallery of Excellence at Walsworth Publishing, which speaks highly of the students and the faculty adviser,” King said.       

However, not the superintendent or even the principal has actually seen the yearbook. It is being kept under wraps until its unveiling on yearbook signing day May 20. This year’s theme is “X-marks the spot.” The X represents the Roman numeral for the number 10, as in the class of 2010. 

Lopez said she had fun last year working on the yearbook and decided to do it again this year, her senior year. She said it’s a big responsibility making sure everyone looks good.

“We took a billion pictures of everyone, and then picked the ones with the eyes mostly open,” Lopez said with a grin.

Lopez said she learned a lot about photography and human nature as she patrolled the campus looking for the perfect shot.

“I learned when you carry a camera around, people like to jump into the picture,” Lopez said, laughing. “But the group we worked with were very good workers, and they were very creative.”  

Olivas is a junior this year and wanted to be part of something special.

“Getting the award made us all feel like the many hours of hard work had paid off,” Olivas said. “I’m really excited to see everyone's reaction.”

Garcia said the yearbook staff came up with many creative ideas that are contained within the pages of this year’s yearbook.

“Instead of the regular page numbers, we had kids hold up page numbers. So a lot of kids who weren’t in some of the regular activities were prominently featured. So this is one of the little differences than in past years,” Garcia said.

Lopez’s parents are Miguel and Joann, and her brothers are Miguel Jr., Joshua and Brandon.

Olivas’ parents are John Olivas and Rachael Leyba. He has an older sister named Joslin, a younger brother John, and sister Amiree.