A Year for the Books


Bryn Quigley

Sarah Portanka, editor-in-chief of the yearbook, works diligently for the benefit of a massive amount of pages and people.

Bryn Quigley, Editor-in-Chief

When students get their yearbook, they immediately pull it open to the pages with their faces. When they get home, their mothers coo, “Oh, let me see you!” Then there’s a kerfuffle, a couple comments about how cute it looks, and they’re snapped shut forever, aging alongside previous years. The editor-in-chief of the book, Sarah Portanka, senior, is well aware of how the annual is often regarded. “When people get the yearbook, they’re like, ‘Oh, I want to see my photo,’ or ‘I want to see the baseball spread because I play baseball,’ right?” she comments. Most students scan through them, but it’s her mission to have them linger on the pages a little longer.

Siri Vinjamara, senior and copy editor, helps corral ideas and translate them into unified stories. She thinks that with properly captivating captions, students may not be so eager to let their books collect dust. “Who’s gonna read it if it’s not interesting?” she jokes. To create these captions, yearbook members trudge through a strenuous process of peeking heads into busy classrooms and gathering information. However, students aren’t familiar with the preparation behind them. “Whenever I ask someone [to do an interview], they’re like, ‘Oh yeah, the yearbook, what do you guys do? Just put pictures?’ No,” Vinjamara says. When creating a page, there’s an in-depth identification frenzy, illuminating interviews, draining design choices, and writing wizardry, all just to capture one moment in Denmark’s history.

Sophomore Jordanna Oliviera’s brow furrows in deep concentration as she tackles an unsettling choice of words. (Bryn Quigley)

Despite its seemingly tedious nature, this process is vital to production and is even exciting to yearbook members. Portanka describes, “What we’re really trying to do this year is show a lot of stories that aren’t being seen. I think we’re here to represent the people whose stories don’t get told and are kind of hidden in the shadows.” In a school with over 2,000 students, there are many Danes who hide in the shadows. Despite a contrastingly small yearbook staff of 35 who are tasked with manning their spotlights; they find gratification in helping others shine. “I meet so many different people,” Vinjamara smiles, “When you are actually able to talk to somebody, it’s personal and different. It’s nice, you learn so much.” This book is trying to preserve students’ thoughts and emotions so that they can look back and get to know their classmates on the intimate level that yearbook members do.

The book is our school, who we are, and what Denmark stands for.

— Isabella Chavis, freshman and yearbook member.

Last year, the theme explored how the Danes are woven together, examining hidden connections between them, but the team is evolving from the narrative of similarity, or as Vinjamara hints: “We wanna get the point of view of everyone that’s in the school. So, we have stories from different angles.” They’re praising uniqueness in this edition by highlighting as many students and telling as many stories as possible. To discover their representation of the 2022-23 school year, purchase a yearbook at https://www.yearbookordercenter.com/ with the code 17396.