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El Espiritu celebrates 100 years in print

Claremont High School graduates from any era will find something for them in this year’s edition of El Espiritu, the school’s yearbook.

Though it boasts myriad changes that create a more dynamic and modern book, this year’s edition is also notable for its strong ties to the Claremont High School of years past, as it celebrates the one-hundredth anniversary of El Espiritu’s first publication.

“We wanted to tie the book back to its roots,” said Jack Shih, editor in chief of design and Class of 2012 graduate.

With that in mind, this year’s edition was given the theme “Ever Changing,” and abounds with “then-and-now” photographs of the school, its students and the city.

“Most of the stories tied into the book’s hundredth year,” said Abby Ernst, editor-in-chief of copy. “And many of them are about how people have changed.”

Stories were given a different formatting from previous years that is reminiscent of the Q-and-A layout seen in popular magazines like Seventeen. A special section about the school’s Alumni Society features perspectives and meditations on the school and its growth from graduates whose most recent edition of the yearbook is decades old.

“It’s a throwback to an older Claremont,” Abby said. The cover of the book itself is a reimagined version of the Claremont citrus label that is featured prominently on the side of the Village’s Packing House. “It’s so Claremont,” she added.

While the book has much in the way of historical content, it also features new additions for members of the digital generation. Many pages feature “QR” codes that can be scanned with a smartphone for access to online content that includes videos of school events and features about life as a student.

“In 30 years, you can scan a QR code, and see a video about the WolfCast,” Jack said, referring to the brief news segment produced by students that is broadcast to classrooms with announcements daily.

Other features include a flipbook image of a leaf that grows and expires with the seasons along the book’s bottom edge, following a total restructuring of the book’s content that is based on the year’s chronology rather than on separate classes. The book also boasts the inclusion of captions with photographs, among other additions.

Observers may notice that last year’s edition of the book was billed as only the 97th volume. But an article in this year’s edition explains that a careful correction of a mislabeling made somewhere in decades past made certain that this year’s edition was the hundredth, rather than the ninety-eighth.

“I love it, and I hope everyone else does,” said Jack, who estimates having contributed over 500 hours to the book’s development.

“It sets a new standard,” agreed Abby. “I hope it encourages future yearbook staffs to make a better book than we did.”

Jack and Abby wish to acknowledge yearbook advisor David Sawhill and the rest of the yearbook staff for their hard work on the project.

“Everyone was so dedicated this year,” Abby said.

—Jake Bartman

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