Mr. Llewellyn and yearbook staff, creating the unique Rise Above

Mr. Llewellyn works on Rise Above on his computer. This unique yearbook has the school community very excited.

Tina Luong

Mr. Llewellyn works on Rise Above on his computer. This unique yearbook has the school community very excited.

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The yearbook staff at PMHS is hard at work creating Rise Above, this school year’s yearbook. The yearbook will be a great keepsake, as it’s a physical documentation of high school memories.

Mr. Llewellyn and his students work from summer days right until the ending weeks of the school year to make the time-consuming yearbook. The dedication and pride they take in their work is a huge aspect of why the yearbook has such a positive reception. Mr. Llewellyn has been teaching the subject of yearbook for eighteen years, some of that time at other schools. When the previous Patterson Mill High School teacher retired, Mr. Llewellyn says “…that obviously left a void… and, because of my love for yearbook, I gladly decided to teach it.” He is excited and prepared to publish his first yearbook at Patterson Mill High School as the teacher, which will be titled Rise Above.  He remembers being a student in high school and how yearbooks were extremely important, especially as a graduating senior.

In an era where we depend so much on social media, Mr. Llewellyn agrees that we rely too much on electronics to “back up” memories. The yearbook guarantees documentation of the most important aspects of the year. He muses that “a book is an archival record of an event… if we can keep books for thousands of years that document the human existence, that’s a grandiose way of saying we can do the same thing with four years of high school.”

Mr. Llewellyn

The cover of this school year's yearbook. Mr. Llewellyn and staff are currently working on putting it together.

With over $40,000 required for the team to make the Patterson Mill yearbook, the yearbook class must fundraise, advertise, and push for pre-sales. They do all of this during the year, along with a supporting sales rep and a signed contract from the school. Mr. Llewellyn thankfully mentions that he doesn’t worry about the sales and the quality of the book because the yearbook at Patterson Mill was already an award-winning publication before he came in. Previous yearbooks have a history of being sold out before the end of the school year. The Patterson Mill High School community has already started pre-ordering Rise Above. Displays, reminders, and flyers advertising the yearbook continue to pop up all over the halls and announcements. It’s a big role to take on, but the yearbook staff and their leader do not worry.

Mr. Llewellyn is very thankful to be leading such a talented, experienced staff. His style is a bit different from the previous teacher. She created the yearbook from more of a journalistic perspective, while his artistic and photographic perspective makes this yearbook very unique. Design packaging, student portraits, and how stories are told will be completely different.

Patterson Mill students are intrigued and happy to purchase the yearbook and see how the new teacher and his team have made it their own. Jack Olson, a freshman at Patterson Mill High, continues to buy yearbooks to “look back in the future…  [See] what was happening that year.” Similar to other students, Jack finds reading the yearbook entertaining.  A sophomore, who preferred to remain anonymous, orders yearbooks because “you can hold it close to your heart on a Sunday evening in your college dorm. You can look at it and marvel as you flip the pages. I feel like you can’t experience the same feeling when swiping through the screen on your phone. It’s just not going to be the same.” In a time when technology continues to grow, a yearbook is timeless.

Yearbooks can be pre-ordered now on EdLine under “Links.” The longer students wait, the more the yearbook will cost. Expecting an extraordinary edition of this year’s book from his team, Mr. Llewellyn powerfully states, “I like to quote Benjamin Zander: he says that, ‘the sign of a good leader is to not doubt for one second the capacity of the people he’s leading to achieve whatever he’s dreaming.'” He has every right to be confident in his class. They are all hard workers who are more than capable of the task at hand.  Mr. Llewellyn and his team of talented students aren’t just creating a yearbook; they’re creating a collection of memories that represents the continuing need to document the past.

 

 

 

 

 

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Mr. Llewellyn and yearbook staff, creating the unique Rise Above