In an era of Facebook and other social media, young people no longer have to rely on the student directory or hastily scrawled phone numbers on scraps of paper as a way to keep in touch with friends from high school or college. Pictures are no longer relegated to an old album or cardboard box, but can be instantly posted on Facebook walls or sent through Instagram.
Nevertheless, one high school tradition may remain impervious to technological advances.
This year the Mamaroneck High School (MHS) 2012 yearbook, the Mahiscan (short for Mamaroneck High School Annual), won first place in the American Scholastic Press Association awards competition, with its World Beat section—covering local, national and international news—snagging another award for “Best News Section.”
With many predicting the “End of the World As We Know It,” the yearbook staff thought that a more modern interpretation of the yearbook was in order, said Jessica Guenzl, former editor-in-chief for the Mahiscan and student at Northwestern.
Drawing on the theme of the world’s demise, the Mahiscan reads like the diary of an ancient civilization that is unearthed by an archeologist many years later.
“It’s a dialogue between people in the present and future,” explained Guenzl.
Lily Goldstein, another former editor-in-chief for the Mahiscan and a student at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern, said that the yearbook was divided into sections based on different aspects of student life.
Some details were subtler and might only be discernable to those who attended MHS.
For example, yearbook staff incorporated red, handwritten notes into the pages of the book based on a red pen MHS English Teacher James Short kept tucked behind his ear to edit student papers with.
Goldstein, who hopes for a future career in journalism, said that reading and keeping up on current events had always been a part of her life.
“I love the idea of being able to know what’s going on in the world and impart that to other people,” she said.
Both editors credited the more than 50 members of the yearbook staff with helping to make the book a success.
“We could not have done any of it without our staff,” said Guenzl.