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Rock Canyon yearbook learns from a city of stories

The editorial staff of Rock Canyon’s Black and Gold yearbook pose under Columbia University’s subway sign on March 22. The staff attended the Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s annual journalism conference over spring break.

By Amanda Brauchler, RCHS intern writer; photos courtesy of Kristi Rathbun

Rock Canyon High School’s (RCHS) Black and Gold yearbook editorial staff spent their spring break learning about journalism in New York City. After a canceled flight lead to the group arriving a day late to the Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s annual journalism convention, the yearbook staff had to branch out into the city to learn about storytelling.

The group visited quintessential tourist destinations like the Empire State Building and Times Square, but also took time to explore examples of journalism in the city. One major example the students learned from was the 9/11 Memorial and museum. The museum features journalists’ images from the attack as well as news broadcastings from the infamous day and audio clips of survivors, family members and witnesses.

While walking on foot to almost every destination they went to, the group looked for theme ideas for next year’s yearbook. (A theme concept is a verbal phrase accompanied with design elements that fit it, to tie the entire book together. Think Nike’s “Just do it.”) New York provided an abundance of advertisements and art to inspire the students. Students also utilized the photography skills that they worked on all year around the city.

Even with the plethora of opportunities New York provided, the trip had one more unique chance: team bonding. With editors from all grades present on the trip, New York acted as a catalyst for the students to get to know each other better.

“I came into this school not having a lot of friends, coming into this whole new program that I didn’t have anyone to hand-hold me into,” Bella Wheeler, an 80108 resident said. “It was nice to meet such welcoming people who just wanted to have fun and make something that they’re proud of and they shared that with me.”

The editorial staff of Rock Canyon High School’s Black and Gold yearbook spent their first night in New York in Times Square before attending the Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s annual journalism convention.

The editors spent their spring break coming into the yearbook “lab” to work on the yearbook before and after the New York trip. They finally submitted the book the week after they got back.

“We always say we’re like family but I think the trip brought us closer together because we were able to spend some time together outside the lab to get to know each other on a deeper level,” Kinley Rex, an editor-in-chief said. “I think it’s important for us to have trust and create a safe place for people so we can create the best product for our student body.”

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