Explore Yearbook Staff Reveals This Year’s Cover

(February 12th, 2020 -- Jersey City, NJ) Ms. Heather Garrett and the 8th-grade yearbook staff proudly revealed the cover for the 2019-2020 yearbook earlier this week. The original art was created by 8th-grade student Elise Crow.

Since September, the 25 8th grade staff members meet once a week with Ms. Garrett to plan, organize, and create the yearbook. The process begins with the students completing tutorials and familiarizing themselves with the website. The students then plan and outline pages. The students’ responsibilities and duties increase as they are on a deadline to complete their assigned pages.

Ms. Garrett has been the yearbook advisor at Explore for 5 years. “Working with the 8th graders on the yearbook is a truly rewarding experience. It is a way to reminisce and think of how far they have come. Watching the 8th graders reflect on memories they are fond of, shows me that Explore Middle School really is a second home to them and a huge part of their lives. As a 6th-grade teacher I do not see the 8th graders that much. This is a time dedicated to a truly positive topic. It is an awesome experience!”

Creating the cover for the yearbook is one of the most important parts of a celebrated yearbook. Elise Crow, the artist behind the cover, is dedicated to her passion and consistently working on her craft. She is often asked to create things for different celebrations and activities at Explore and is very proud to have created the yearbook cover.

Elise comes from a family of artists and this plays a big role in the drive behind all of her work. “My sister got to design and create the yearbook cover when she was in 8th grade at our former school. We left before I was in the 8th grade and I remember being upset that I wasn’t going to get to create the cover like she did. So, I feel very honored to be able to represent my school through this artwork and have my own version of the yearbook cover to be proud of. Including a reference to our wolfpack mentality was very important to me and I wanted to make sure that everyone felt included so I put the Explore Middle School branding below it. It took me a couple of weeks to get this done because I am more of a traditional artist so using Photoshop was a new experience for me,” she explained.

Inclusivity was a top priority for Elise and through trial and error, she created something she is very proud of for many reasons. “I spent a lot of time brainstorming ideas. I really wanted everyone to be represented that’s why the student is ambiguous looking. Because it is a cartoonish student it could be anyone. I chose a skin tone that can represent as many people and races as possible. I tried not to show the student’s hair so that it was gender-neutral and everyone could feel like they are a part of that one student. I also wanted the student’s face to show pride, excitement, and have a little fun unique character as well.”

“Elise is incredibly talented and I am so touched by not only how much thought went into her work, but of course the final product as well. Thank you to Ms. H Garrett for working so diligently with the yearbook staff all year,” shared Principal Krone.

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