Paging Through Minnetonka’s Yearbook, Voyager, and its History

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Paging Through Minnetonka’s Yearbook, Voyager, and its History

Photo Courtesy of Tessa Ikola

Photo Courtesy of Tessa Ikola

Photo Courtesy of Tessa Ikola

Karen Rose, Staff Writer

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Minnetonka High School’s yearbook, Voyageur, has been around since our school’s inception in 1952. Each of the 66 editions capture the lives of the students that have walked these halls and the life of the building as well. Google search long enough, and you’ll find a school on a lonely, snow covered hill, with nothing much else around. Obviously, it’s changed quite a bit, and that’s what’s great about yearbooks – they capture a period of tremendous change and memories to last a lifetime. However, the story behind the scenes is just as special.

 “I cannot explain how lucky and happy I am to be able to work with my yearbook students every day,” said Tessa Ikola, adviser of the Yearbook class. The environment created here is much different from your everyday course: they work together everyday, not just as classmates, but as staff, resulting in some really close connections.

“We all bond and get so close to each other over the course of the school year…it is like one big family,” remarked Rachel Ryweck, ‘19, who has been Editor-in-Chief for Yearbook for the past two years.

One of the most special parts of each edition of Voyageur is that every student is included. Be that as it may, it is also one of the most challenging tasks the yearbook staff faces. In theory it may seem easy, but there are many obstacles.

Ikola explained that they try to cover each student at least three times, “which in a school of about 3,300 students, means getting about 10,000 quotes and pictures in the book.”

It gets trickier when students are involved in a vast range of activities, or none at all. Nonetheless, they persist and try their hardest to accomplish this task each year.

Being part of Yearbook brings countless opportunities and new experiences.

“There really are so many interesting and unique people in the school, and by doing yearbook, you get to meet all different types of people…you can even make new friends through doing just one interview,” Ryweck remarked.

If photography and design is your thing, or maybe you’re hoping it could be, this class is worth considering. You’ll learn how to work and communicate in a professional way, and how edit for publication.

“Students learn how to find creative solutions because no matter what, their pages have to get done on time; sticking to deadlines is definitely something that they learn.” Ikola stated.

Of course, there will be the day in which the new edition is complete, and 12 months of hard work will finally come to fruition. Both Ikola and Ryweck described seeing the final product as one of the most rewarding outcomes. Then there is distribution day, which Rachel recalls being an extremely enjoyable time – finally getting to share their work with their classmates, and the rest of the school.

“People talk about how much work yearbook is; I agree with them,” Ikola began, “but one thing that I do want people to know is how much fun we have, too. The hard work is worth it because everything you do for yearbook class gets published, and that’s a pretty cool and unique thing.”


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