“The leadership position comes with major responsibilities, which can start to weigh on you.”

Livia Ubaldo details her first year as Editor-in-Chief of the yearbook

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Cal-Donian Yearbook Editor-in-Chief Livia Ubaldo beams while gazing past her shoulder, reflecting the glow of the lake and natural scenery behind her.

Malana Diebolt, Staff Writer

“My first year of being Editor-in-Chief is going pretty well. Journalism was one of my favorite classes as a sophomore because I had the opportunity to meet so many new people and learn more about photography and writing. Now that I am a veteran and the main leader of the class, my experience has been different than it was as a general staffer. I have taken on different responsibilities that have taught me many things, including how to be patient with others and time management skills. 

It is super fun being the Editor. I was a virtual student for the entire first semester of last year, so when I came back to in-person learning for the second semester, I felt on the outside compared to the rest of the Journalism team. They had been together for eighteen weeks without me, and I was also a little sophomore in a class composed of mostly juniors and seniors. I had to put myself out there and try to get to know my peers, which, at times, was difficult to do.

By the end of the year, I had definitely made friends but wasn’t super satisfied with some of the divisions in the class. Because of that experience, one of my primary goals going into this school year was to construct an environment in which all of the members of Journalism felt comfortable with each other and were able to reach out to me if they ever needed help. As the Editor, I have set standards for the class and celebrate those who exceed my expectations. I love leading the creation of the yearbook and watching my staffers grow in their journalism skills. 

I do a variety of things as the Editor. I started working with Ms. Covelle towards the end of the summer with brainstorming ideas for the 2021-2022 yearbook. I had to devise the layout of the yearbook, which includes the format, sequence of the pages, and how the different sections would be divided. We devised a plan on what topics would share a spread and how many pages each division would receive. By the time the page ladder was finished, school had started. The journalism class then decided the theme of the book a couple of weeks into the school year, and, after that decision was made, I used past yearbooks to create different layouts for the yearbook spreads that would go along with this year’s theme. I also drew up a rough idea for the yearbook cover, which we finished at the end of November.

I have the same responsibilities as the general staffers, which include completing my assigned pages and writing articles. I take photos during school of students working in classes, eating lunch, or doing other things that are worthy of coverage. I attend school sporting events to take photos as well. Once yearbook spreads are considered ‘complete’ after being checked by my other managers, I choose whether or not the pages will be approved (most of the time they are).

I do find myself stressed a lot. Junior year is an important year of high school. It’s sort of the year that things get real, especially after last year’s craziness. I have other difficult classes and a job outside of school, so time management can be difficult sometimes. The leadership position comes with major responsibilities, which can start to weigh on you. Juggling different aspects comes with a price, but that’s life, ya know?

Honestly, my least favorite aspect would probably be the workload. My plate is usually pretty full, and once I manage to complete one task, another one is added. It can be overwhelming at times due to the fact that it seems like I never have enough time to do everything.

However, I absolutely love my journalism staffers. A lot of the staffers from last year graduated, so I had the opportunity to meet a bunch of new people this year. Each person in the class is determined to learn and do well, which is something that you don’t always see. Another thing I like is doing Friday Celebrations. When a member of the class does something worthy of recognition, I give them a sticker that can earn them a prize at the end of the semester. I find it amusing to call out individual people because, a lot of the time, I can tell that they’re slightly embarrassed, but if they deserve a gold star for doing a good job, I’m always going to recognize that.”