Representing all grade levels: A closer look at The Round Up’s “freshman tradition”
FeaturesGeneral Features December 16, 2019 Admin
BY ARIELLE KRAUS
Creating a yearbook consisting of over 300 pages to capture an entire school year is not an easy task. The Round Up yearbook staff at CCHS takes on this challenge annually, working to produce a product that fully captures the memories of the school year.
The staff of The Round Up consists of sophomores, juniors and seniors. However, yearbook has a tradition of recruiting one freshman on their staff each year. This tradition began in 2014 when Class of 2018 alumna Morgan Malan was a freshman. Malan requested to join the staff and soon realized that there was not enough coverage on CCHS freshmen.
“Being the only freshman on staff meant that I was the only person who knew my class well enough to be their advocate for coverage,” Malan said.
Malan decided to make this a tradition, and as she continued with yearbook, she ensured that a freshman was on staff each year. The second individual to continue the tradition was Alex Porras (Class of 2019), followed by Kimber Counts (Class of 2020), Summer Testa (Class of 2021), Sarah Marks (Class of 2022) and now Grace Jenkins (Class of 2023).
“It started out pretty intimidating when I didn’t know anyone, but then once I got comfortable with the people, it’s pretty cool.”Freshman Grace Jenkins
“I think the tradition of recruiting a freshman is really cool,” The Round Up yearbook sponsor Hailee Yaeger said. “I think it is exciting for them because they’re coming into high school with such an interesting experience, getting to know new people off the bat that are not just freshmen, but in every single grade and I think it helps them get out of their shell.”
Entering a class full of sophomores and upperclassmen can be very intimidating for a freshman. However, The Round Up staff assists this student in adjusting to their new routine and lends them a helping hand when needed.
“It started out pretty intimidating when I didn’t know anyone, but then once I got comfortable with the people, it’s pretty cool. They are almost like my family,” Jenkins said. “They [have] taught me how to use eDesign to layout the book and basic interviewing tips for high school.”
Joining yearbook at a young age allows a freshman to learn the ropes quickly, and even get promoted to editor positions within The Round Up later on in their high school years. For example, Testa has gone from being a staff member freshman year to becoming the youngest Editor-in-Chief (EIC) The Round Up has ever had in only her junior year of high school.
“I am so honored to be the youngest EIC because I have put a lot of work into all the books I’ve made over the years and it’s just such a true statement to all of the work I’ve put in.”Junior Summer Testa
“I am so honored to be the youngest EIC because I have put a lot of work into all the books I’ve made over the years and it’s just such a true statement to all of the work I’ve put in,” Testa said. “I love that I’ll be able to carry on with my staff next year and I am just so grateful for the opportunity and the people who have helped me get here.”
The tradition has given those “forever freshmen” a chance to come into high school with an automatic group of friends, as well as a better chance to become an editor and dedicate themselves to an extracurricular they love. But the “forever freshmen” alumni of The Round-Up are even more grateful for their four years on staff because it established a special connection between them, CCHS and their peers.
“I loved each and every one of my classmates,” Malan said. “Spending four years knowing every single name and face and extracurricular activity just made me feel that much closer to them and that much more proud of them once we graduated and even now.”
Pictured (Left to right): Grace Jenkins, Summer Testa
Photo courtesy of Summer Testa