The student news site of Bellaire High School

Three Penny Press

The student news site of Bellaire High School

Three Penny Press

The student news site of Bellaire High School

Three Penny Press

Yearbook interest meeting debrief

Photo provided by Ella Callaci
The yearbook editor-in-chiefs made a presentation at their interest meeting on Feb. 15. Senior and editor-in-chief Lucy Vestal talks about what yearbook staff does and how they serve their school.

Yearbook had interest meetings for students looking to join the 2024-2025 Carillon staff during the second half of Cardinal Hour on Feb. 1 and Feb. 15 in Room 1307. The editor-in-chiefs discussed the application process, what being on staff looks like and responded to questions about the application process. Applications are due on Mar. 8 at 11:59 p.m.

“I think it’s very important for applicants to know more about an organization they’re applying to,” senior and Editor-in-Chief Lucy Vestal said. “We went over the application, and we really stressed to the applicants that if you are interested in applying you need to start ASAP since it’s a rigorous process.”

The Carillon staff has four sections for applicants to choose from: photographer or videographer, editor, designer and marketing team. The editors cover sports, people and clubs while photographers are assigned photo assignments once a week and are responsible for getting pictures for one or two editors’ pages per deadline. Designers create illustrations and artwork they are passionate about. A marketing team was added just two years ago that consists of around five students who advertise sales and post on Instagram.

Although the application process is very competitive and time-consuming, Vestal said that being a part of the staff is very rewarding.

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“The Carillon is student-run, and not all schools have a student-run yearbook staff,” yearbook sponsor Andrea Negri said. “There’s a lot of leadership opportunities that come with being on staff, especially if you want to pursue journalism in your future, like problem-solving and research are important skills you can carry with you throughout your life.”

Vestal believes she has progressed immensely over the past two years on Carillon staff.

“I’m a very type-A person where delegation is hard for me because I think that I want to do everything myself,” Vestal said. “But through being on [the] yearbook staff, I’ve grown to learn that collaborating with others is helpful with public speaking and interviewing.”

The Carillon staff attends many conventions and participates in competitions throughout the school year. So far, they have been to Boston and Chicago. There are three to four journalist trips that staffers can attend and enter contests. The Carillon Yearbook is nationally ranked, and photographers and editors can win awards for their work.

“A lot of editors won awards last year which was cool,” Vestal said. “Photo contests can also be opportunities to win awards that can go on your college resume.”

Photographers mainly use InDesign and Photoshop when editing pictures to publish in the yearbook.

“The workload for photographers can be time-consuming because they have to dedicate their time towards after-school events to take photos,” Vestal said. “Most of the editing is done in class, but if you procrastinate then it will bite you.”

After going through the anonymous applications, the staff narrows the applicant pool down to a smaller number so they can interview. They start calling people in to interview during the last couple weeks of school since narrowing down the applicants takes a while.

“We have a conversation with them and get a feel for what section they want to be a part of, editor or photography,” Vestal said.

The Carillon application process can be stressful and time-consuming, so Vestal gives advice to applicants.

“Just be yourself,” Vestal said. “I know it’s so cliche, but it’s true. Applicants get worried that if they don’t have yearbook experience then they won’t get accepted. I had no idea what InDesign was before joining, and now I’m editor-in-chief. We want to see your personality and get to know who you are. I recommend breaking down the application and working on a little bit each day.”

The application consists of some general questions about your background and previous experience, while the rest of the application is specific to whichever role you apply for. Editors have to critique a spread and give a writing sample, designers have to design a spread and photographers have to submit photography samples. Those applying for the marketing team have to come up with a marketing plan.

“We mainly look for potential and teachability in applicants,” Negri said. “You don’t have to write a perfect feature story right now, but if you have good quotes and you found a good topic for instance, or if we know you would excel if you had a camera in your hands, then that’s good.”

Senior and Editor-in-Chief Cassandra Darmodjo’s favorite part about being a part of the staff is collaborating with others.

“I collaborate with over 50 people on a daily basis,” Darmodjo said. “Yearbook has really broadened my perspective on Bellaire and its students.”

Vestal said that joining the Carillon staff encourages you to meet new people in the Bellaire community.

“I think it’s awesome that I can interview students or teachers that I would usually never talk to or approach first, and just listen to what they have to share,” Vestal said. “It’s so special.”

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