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Federal Way students create a Zoom-inspired yearbook to commemorate their unusual year

Students at Truman Campus in Federal Way are remembering their highly unusual year that was overshadowed by coronavirus and remote learning with a creative twist.

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. — The end of the school year is a relief and important milestone for so many students who navigated the complications of the pandemic and remote learning. 

For high school seniors, the end of the year marks leaving the virtual classroom and entering the real world. At Truman Campus in Federal Way, students are remembering the highly unusual year with a creative twist on their most precious keepsake -- the yearbook. 

The school's Yearbook Committee was meeting on Zoom when they had a eureka moment of inspiration. Senior Benjamin Peters said they decided to create a memorable edition of the yearbook that paid tribute to Zoom. 

"We created the same look that we all spent so much time looking at online and even included the little icons below the pictures and have a chat box window on the side," said Peters. 

Students were encouraged to send in their own "selfie-style" photo for the yearbook. Anyone who didn't have a photo featured in the yearbook appears like a Zoom participant with their camera turned off -- just their name in bright white text over a black screen. 

Even student superlative awards were featured in a section titled, "The Zoomies." The school's "cutest couple," "class clown," "most musical," and more were all celebrated with empty chairs staged throughout the empty school. 

Peters said students enjoyed the creative and quirky nature of this year's yearbook because it reflects the unforgettable year they endured behind the computer screen. 

The Yearbook Committee didn't want to make light of the pandemic, but said they felt it was appropriate to have some fun with the challenges they faced. 

"It’s been such a crazy year, why not make a crazy yearbook too?" said Peters.