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Excalibur Records History

By Staff | May 4, 2016

Photo Provided Sydney Glover, Makayla Tracy, Jahnvi Duncan, Casey Kelley, and Molly Rine display a past edition of the Silver Knights’ yearbook, Excalibur.

MIDDLEBOURNE In days of yore, creating high school yearbooks was a chore, albeit a worthy one.

Students toiled for hours to get individual class photos matched up, spelled right and placed on the page, more or less, for the printer. Athletic and club photos were taken throughout the year. Prom queens and popular girls were featured prominently.

Some of the students who put the book together were hailed almost as if they were gods because of their power to confer a place in history to the best, the brightest or maybe, the infamous.

“Yearbooks are important so you can look back on all your good times,” said Makayla Tracy, a sophomore. “I hope to look back on my high school years.”

A question asked then and now of today’s students, what will you be remembered for long after you’ve left Tyler Consolidated High School’s hallowed halls. Track? Student Government? Being one of the beautiful people? Or one of those kids whose pursuits landed them in detention to spend time with those losers like Bender from the “Breakfast Club”.

After many hours of toil, the book was sent to a printer who put everything together in a somewhat timely manner it only took about month or so to print the book.

When the yearbook was published, not only did everyone search out their photos, but more than a few people checked the book’s index to see how many times they were listed.

Incidentally, anyone who wants to buy a TCHS’s yearbook, Excalibur, should contact the school at 304-758-9000 or seek Jostens’ webpage to order one (jostens.com).

TCHS Excalibur Adviser Brandy Glover said that for the most part, times have changed. Though students still desire prominent placement in the yearbook, she said, gone are the days of burning the midnight oil to produce Excalibur.

When class photos are taken, they are downloaded with the publisher more or less instantly.

In fact, anyone who thinks their game photo or standalone photo of kids acting cool rates a place in the yearbook, they can upload their photos too, Glover said. If the photo is good enough, she said, the yearbook staff may choose that photo for publication.

“Any photo has the potential to make it into the book,” she said.

Page layouts are predetermined from choices presented via computer from the publisher. Fonts, colors and point size for type all preset can be determined by a push of the button on a computer in Glover’s class.

Silver Knights, who are enrolled in yearbook, are selected for their ability to produce a quality volume of Excalibur. Sophomores, juniors and seniors do the heavy lifting needed to produce the 130+ page book that will stand the test of time.

“The students in this class came highly recommended by English and guidance counselors,” Glover said. “They are top students who were chosen based on their grades and work ethic.”

Why join Excalibur’s staff?

“I chose this because I thought it would be a fun elective to do,” said Sydney Glover, a senior who is active in many clubs and sports. “I do a lot of the sports pages.

And there is no queen bee or ‘year-tator’ a play on words similar to “cheertator” from the movie “Bring it On.” Glover said Excalibur’s editorial decisions are determined by group consensus.

“They all work together and split up the work,” she said.

Tracy added, “We all do everything together.”

And it is not just the book that the group accomplishes together, but the Homecoming Dance. Yeah. The yearbook used that as fundraiser. The Homecoming Dance is not some random 80s night soiree, but an event that requires planning, decorations, food, ticket sales, everything.

Excalibur’s theme this year “We are 2016.” And that’s what this is all about history. Newspapers may be the first draft of history, but they are not the only draft in small towns. Yearbooks offer details about sports, academic and student achievement.

Toward that end, Glover pledged that Excalibur’s staff would donate yearbooks to the Sistersville Public Library and the Tyler County Historical Society in Middlebourne.

Glover said “future generations” will have a chance to know more about TCHS students from 2016.

Glover said the yearbook class’s aim is to sell 150 books. They’ve already sold as of last week 111 books. The cost is a meager $60 a bargain. Excalibur comes out in August, so make plans to purchase one today.

“This is a piece of history,” Glover said. “All of our sports pages have various conference meets and records that went on during the year. People can look back that whenever they want.”