Passing the Baton

Jostens Advisers & Staff

Hannah Pillar, Wayzata High School [MN] 
Hannah was the Senior Editor of the Wayako yearbook. Before being Senior Editor, she was a yearbook staffer for two years. After graduation, Hannah intends on going to the University of St. Thomas for a degree in Marketing and Graphic Design.

From having a full candy jar in the room to sitting in the same editor seat each year, one thing that comes with being a yearbook editor is keeping traditions alive. Once spring rolls around, it’s time for editors to pass their batons to the new chosen editors for the following year, which calls for only one thing: more traditions. Surprising the new editors is not only bittersweet but it’s one of the most exciting things that comes with graduating. As an editor, I put together a small list of ideas to make passing down your position special and memorable.

Write a handwritten letter to your new editor.

  • Give them a rundown of your editor role and the daily tasks you have to accomplish.
  • To make life a little bit easier for the new editor, include things you’ve learned the past year and helpful tips, specifically about your role. You’re always learning new tricks in the yearbook world, so why not share your secret?
  • The letter is something they will refer to in the future, so take your time on this. It’ll show them how important this job is.
  • You can also include your phone number and email so they’ll be able to reach you easily with questions.

When delivering the news, it’s important to cheer on your new editor.

  • Ask the new editor’s teachers beforehand if you’re allowed to pull them out of class for a few minutes. This will make the news even more surprising.
  • Be excited! All editors should clap and cheer like someone just won the lottery. Make a scene!
  • Show them you’re just as thrilled giving them the position as they are receiving it.

Get together with the current group of editors and choose balloons and cupcakes.

  • Try buying balloons that match the color scheme of your yearbook or your school colors. Have the balloon one color and the attached ribbon a different color.
  • Give a balloon and cupcake to each editor when delivering the news. When I think of balloons and cupcakes, I think of a celebration, which is exactly what this is!

Take pictures!

  • Grab a camera and have another staffer snap pictures of the editor passing the baton to capture this important moment.
  • Being able to share this memory with not only the yearbook staff but also the rest of the school is an exciting way to show off their new role and the next steps on the yearbook committee.
  • Post the pictures on social media! Whether it’s your yearbook’s Instagram account or the school’s Facebook page, it’s always fun to share these moments with your community.