A timeless publication

As May comes around the corner, yearbooks will start being delivered to students recapping the school year.


Yearbooks. A collection of past yearbooks that can be found in the library, dating as early as 1929. “The older you get, the more things change; a lot of people seem to value a trip down memory lane.” Nies said.

Bismarck High School is soon to wrap up its 150th year in May. Being such a prestigious and historical school, yearbooks serve as a tab to document each year. The process of creating the yearbook is held by a staff of students and an advisor in yearbook class that form Prairie Breezus. 

BHS has accomplished multiple achievements this year, both academic and athletic. Because of that, this year’s yearbook will have no shortage of highlights. BHS teacher and yearbook advisor Kirsten Nies is acting her first year as the advisor role in the replacement of Keith Henderson who retired last year. 

“This is certainly a learning year for me, when it comes to the yearbook,” Nies said. “I’ve gotten to know our Josten’s rep, the software, and the similarities and differences between different cameras. Next year, our program is considering a completely different format to ensure that we can cover even more activities and general student life.”

During the creation process, duties are divided among the students on staff. Each page is worked on carefully by multiple staff members when considering both the design and copy editing stages. 

“Students are assigned, or choose, particular pages to work on but they often help each other with specific tasks. Each page requires layout design, photos, captions, and tagging,” Nies said. “From there, we have a list of ten items to check for copy editing, which has to be completed by two people before the page is submitted.”

Within the staff, roles are assigned. An Editor-in-Chief is designated along with specific editor roles. The class structure is student-led, so students input extends to the schedule and assignments.

“The yearbook class is co-planned by the teacher and editors,” Nies said. “Some days involve team activities and class lessons; some are work days, where individuals work on their own or in small groups. This format allows us the flexibility needed to reach deadlines and help each other as needed.”

Students on the Prairie Beezus staff learn skills that are applicable outside of class as well. As a student, cooperating with a staff to create an end-product that recaps an entire school year naturally enables students to be creative. 

“Skills gained by working on the yearbook are applicable to many different areas of life,” Nies said. “Some of them include communication, time management, leadership, photography, and writing.” 

In prior years, students who did not buy a yearbook have the opportunity to now. The school now sells yearbooks from past years for alumni.

“Students and alumni buy books because it’s fun to look back on memories and fashion from the year.” Nies said. “I recently heard someone say that it’s like scrolling through Instagram but without the ads. From time to time, students come in to look up their parents or other relatives from past years. Recently, we posted an ad for alumni and sold quite a few yearbooks to alumni who graduated 15-40 years ago.”