Reinstating Senior Quotes


Simone Westerlund, Op/Ed Editor

The last time that Sehome’s yearbook, the Windjammer, used senior quotes in their yearbook was before 2002. The same year that most of this year’s seniors were born. For the 2019-2020 yearbook, co-editors Jacob Alexander (12) and Yoshimi Lin (12) have made a decision to bring them back. Although, senior quotes are widely appreciated, previous Windjammer advisors have left them out for a reason. 

Unfortunately, sometimes people are inspired by things that are hurtful to others, or some take the opportunity to make a joke without thinking about how it will come across. You may remember the recent Supreme Court confirmation hearings where a person’s senior yearbook quote was used during the hearing as an example of his values and behavior at the time he was in high school,” said Dana Smith, yearbook advisor from 2002-2018. “There haven’t been any senior quotes in any of the yearbooks I’m most familiar with, since the 2002-03 school year when I began advising. I don’t remember seeing senior quotes in any yearbooks before that time,” said Smith. Despite the negative impacts of senior quotes, Smith still believes that senior quotes can be amazing to look back on. “The most important thing is for the yearbook staff to be responsible and make solid decisions for their publication, since a yearbook lasts a very long time! I just read through a yearbook from North High School, which was one of the high schools in Bellingham before Bellingham High School was built, from about a hundred years ago! It’s fascinating,” said Smith.

The current yearbook advisor, Lauren Tucker, spoke on why she decided to re-institute senior quotes into the yearbook. “At the end of the day, it’s not my yearbook, it’s the kids’ yearbook. They knew all the work they were committing to, and they have clear cut guidelines for seniors submitting the quotes. I hope that people can take it into a genuine direction,” said Tucker. 

Co-Editors in Chief of this year’s yearbook, Jacob Alexander and Yoshimi Lin, made the final decision on senior quotes this year. “We’ve put in our survey that we have a right to not admit anything that seems wrong or questionable since this is a first time thing hopefully people realize that this is a privileged opportunity and I hope people don’t take that for granted,” said Lin. Alexander expressed that, “Some seniors might use it as an opportunity to make inappropriate jokes that they might find funny that others may not. Yearbook staff has to be extra careful.” On the bright side, Lin described that, “Senior quotes can allow students to have a moment to shine in the yearbook. It’s really hard to get all student voices through the yearbook and this is moment to reach out to have students express themselves.”

When seniors were interviewed about their thoughts on seniors quotes, their input was all positive. Lillian Gruman (12) had positive thoughts towards the issue. “Being able to express something inspirational or comedic. Sometimes people can express their creativity to help get an essence of their personality,” said Gruman. Morgan LeTavec (12), encouraged senior photos as well. “Yes, because I think it’s a fun creative way of expressing yourself in a way that people can look back on in 20 years, and see who you were when you were a senior,” said LeTavec.

For the week of September 23rd- September 27th, seniors have the opportunity to submit quotes that are within the restrictions given by the Yearbook staff. The staff is hopeful that seniors will use this opportunity to their advantage.