Advancement and traditions work hand-in-hand


Colton Heilman

Kayla Kniefel, Krista Kniefel and Allie Mayer editing the yearbook

When people think of technology advancing, they usually associate it with cell phones. Technology is also advancing at Owatonna High School, especially in classes like Magnet, the school newspaper, and Yearbook. They are both year-long classes that last 45 minutes. English teacher Mr. Dan Leer has been in charge of Yearbook for eight years. When Mr. Leer became in charge of putting the yearbook together there were changes made. He said, “We went from a fall-delivery yearbook to a spring-delivery yearbook. We wanted to celebrate the release of the yearbook instead of having it anti-climatic.” The yearbook class starts working on the yearbook in September. To design and create the most anticipated book of the year, they use Josten’s YearTech Online. The online-only format is a more efficient method than having to first produce the design and then copy it. Mr. Leer has also gradually taught all the Yearbook staff photography. Again, this is more efficient because students can work on their stories as well as take pictures that are needed for them. It also involves everybody in the writing and photography process. In the last eight years, he has seen an increase in class size. The organization of the yearbook has not changed much, with the divisions of the book being the same as when he started.

Mr. Leer gives preference to seniors and returning students when it comes to joining his class. Senior Editor Krista Kniefel said, “It’s different than other classes, you get to a chance to express yourself and show what happened throughout the year.” They are very busy this time of year, meeting deadlines and getting captions for pictures. Senior Editor Allie Mayer said, “We have about two months to finish the entire book.” Senior Editor Kayla Kniefel said, “After that we start the spring insert.” The spring insert covers many things happening in that season, ranging from spring sports to graduation. This comes out in the fall. The theme for this year’s yearbook is “Just be you”. All three editors attended a yearbook camp this past summer, where they came up with the theme, along with raising $500 dollars for funding.

Just as hard-working and creative, is the OHS newspaper class, Magnet. Last year was English teacher Mrs. Jessica Wagner’s first year in charge of OHS Magnet. The biggest change she made was to switch to online editions. Before that, Magnet printed a newspaper edition every month. Now they only do three: one as a Welcome Back Edition, and the other two at the end of each semester. The online launch is done during the eventful week of homecoming. There are many reasons why Magnet switched to online editions. Mrs. Wagner said, “We are putting up a story or more a day. This means the OHS students have the opportunity to know more about what’s going on in our school. It also means we are giving coverage to some things that may not have had coverage.” A limitation of only doing print editions is that they could only write about events that had already passed a while ago or that were going to happen. Magnet also has a Twitter account, @ohsmagnet, where they tweet school related news and timely reports. The website is where  daily stories, ranging from school news to school sports, are uploaded online.

People uninvolved with Yearbook or Magnet may not always notice the amount of effort and thought that is put into it. A daily struggle ensues trying to put out the best work possible. Both Yearbook and Magnet agree, seeing their work in the hands of readers makes it all worth it.