The senior superlatives are a tradition in many high schools. A vast array of titles just waiting to be seized by those renowned by their peers. But to those that aren’t able to partake in it, the voting process can be fairly alien.
To put it simply it all begins with white. A list of categories that will look different from the year before. There are staples like ‘most athletic’, ‘most artistic’ and ‘genius of our generation’. But there are also a few more unusual choices. New titles this year include ‘teacher’s pet’, ‘most likely to be late to graduation’ and a handful of others.
But even veteran titles are subject to being changed, the yearbook staff is constantly trying to make each title seem more unique and have its own flair
“Last year it was ‘best friends,’” yearbook supervisor Katherine Choate said, “This year it’s Dynamic Duos. We just try and make each one pop.”
A wide variety of topics are picked each and every year with the attempt to highlight the talents and unique qualities of the whole school.
“We try to add ones we haven’t used before,” senior Leah Anderson said. “Most student athletes aren’t going to be super artsy so they aren’t going to be voted into ‘most artistic.’”
The voting process is an exciting event for the senior class, and almost all eligible students are very enthusiastic about the whole process.
“It’s really cool to see what our classmates all think of each other,” senior Blake Klemme said. “I hope I get picked for ‘genius of our generation’. I’ve been doing my best to maintain a 4.0 GPA and I find it as kind of a reward for keeping that up”
But what all goes into the voting ballot? It all starts with a form.
“We send out this form with all the categories and the seniors fill out the names of the students they think are the best fit,” Choate said. “It’s a mess because they’re typing in the names themselves”
Thankfully this method hasn’t lead to anything massive. After the students fill out names, the top three or four choices are put into a more formal selection. After a week the votes are counted by percent and the winners of each title are brought in some time after to have their pictures taken to be put in the yearbook.
But the first step in the process is actually fairly new. Only a couple years ago superlative candidates were chosen by yearbook staff but it lead to a sense of uncertainty to the picks.
“Even if the yearbook kids chose correct there was this air of favoritism to the whole thing” Anderson said.
Thankfully the process has shifted to something most of the yearbook regards as a process that represents the student body more, and as a result the choices have become more vibrant and diverse.
“We plug the vote on social media too and we get a lot of hits that way,” Anderson said. “It gives us a nice diversity of answers which makes it a lot more interesting to see the results.”
With all this, it’s exciting for many students to see how this year will plow out, with the poll up now the countdown begins, each vote making a difference as the timer ticks down further and further until a winner is nominated and West sees who will take their seats in the 2018-2019 yearbook.
“It’ll be cool as a thing to show my kids or grandkids,” senior Zak Drum said. “I can be like ‘hey back in high school I was such and such’ and I just think that’s cool
This story was originally published on WHS Today on October 23, 2018.