by Ellen Kersey
Oregon Mentor

As a retired English and journalism teacher, it is my joy to mentor high school advisers. I can help in so many areas, primarily writing copy and captions, and a little bit with design (not my specialty).

But I hadn’t figured on actually getting help from one of the advisers I worked with. I am the yearbook adviser at Corban University in Salem, Ore., where the yearbook editor has the responsibility of designing all the pages because our small staff is responsible for the newspaper, the online, and the yearbook.

Mentor Ellen Kersey (right) received yearbook design advice from mentee Rebecca Buchanan when visiting Buchanan at Hillsboro High School.

When I met for dinner recently with three of the four advisers I mentor, I gave each of them a copy of the yearbook my staff had completed. Sometime after the dinner, Rebecca Buchanan, an art teacher and the yearbook adviser at Hillsboro High School in Hillsboro, Ore., emailed me that she could give me some artistic suggestions for my school’s yearbook.

We met a week or so later. As we went through my yearbook, we marked problem areas she noted. These included the simple fact that the text near the gutter was very hard to read (we need a wider inside page margin), some photos that went across the gutter could have been placed better elsewhere, some of the colors were not compatible (she wrote out a color chart for me), too many colors in some places (our theme was “Flourish,” and the editor had added leafy brush strokes in multiple colors throughout the book), and perhaps most importantly, “less is more.”

This last year Rebecca taught Digital Photo, Ad Design and Advanced Graphic Arts Studio, and Yearbook.

Editor’s note: Mentoring Monday is a feature on the JEA Mentoring blog. We’d like to feature photos of short stories about the JEA mentors, their mentees and the high school journalism students. Please send your photo, caption and story to 2jdodd (at) gmail (dot) com.