Spotlight Date:December 23, 2014
For Dreyfoos Communications Seniors Jordan McCrary and Ilani Fernandes, co-editing the Marquee yearbook is a full-time commitment. Planning and developing the theme for the 2015 yearbook began in April of 2013, and according to Ilani, “Our job is never done, we are in Mr. Moore’s room every day without failure. We spend most of our lunches in his room, checking, double checking, triple checking and so on.” Jordan even admitted that “some nights we stay at school working until 8:30.”
Both Jordan and Ilani started working as yearbook staffers at Bak Middle School of the Arts and knew it was something they wanted to continue at Dreyfoos. For Ilani, she recognized that “the yearbook is a publication that other students were always ecstatic to receive at the end of the year; I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to be a part of.” This past summer, Ilani was able to attend “Yearbook Palooza”, presented by Herff Jones that offered seminars in leadership and InDesign, and even featured a layout competition between the 60 schools that attended.
For Jordan, her start in communications began in 5th grade where she worked on her school’s morning announcements, and grew through middle school with her experience not only in yearbook, but also in graphic design, speech, and morning announcements. At Dreyfoos, she began to narrow it down, stating that “I chose Speech and Debate and Yearbook because they became the closest to my heart over the years.”
While not busy proofing, developing story ideas, or teaching the other younger yearbook staffers, Jordan focuses on Speech and Debate, and has been a member of the team since her freshman year. “This year I am serving as the Team Captain. I have been a participant in Congressional Debate. Public speaking has also been a passion of mine for years. I love being able to share my experience with the underclassmen and I offer them not only my support, but any free time I have to go over their research and help them prepare for tournaments.”
Ilani loves to spend her free time in the ocean and grew up fishing with her dad. “When I was about fourteen years old, my dad helped me to become a certified SCUBA diver. This has also been a favorite hobby of mine and I wish to be able to continue these hobbies through my lifetime.”
As seniors now preparing for college, Jordan and Ilani are appreciative of the opportunities they have had here at Dreyfoos. Jordan believes the school “has offered a professional environment to grow in. The Dreyfoos student body is composed of people who are truly dedicated and focused in their art area. This focus creates a lot of competition within the department, but also allows students to learn from each other and flourish.” Ilani adds that the dedicated communications teachers “have taught me skills that will help me through my life: from self-actualization through Dr. DeLuz to learning that everyone truly has a story from Mr. Moore. My teachers and peers have helped me to develop as a person and as a journalist … Mr. Moore has given me an opportunity to carry out my passion in yearbook. Through input on my writing and layout skills, Mr. Moore has always offered a helping hand in order to make sure that I am able to succeed as a journalist.”
Jordan and Ilani both hope to attend the University of Florida in the fall. Jordan intends to major in Communications, specifically advertising and says that “My years at Dreyfoos will help me in whatever field I choose a career in. Learning key leadership skills, how to present myself formally, and working among a staff are vital to any career. I will certainly have an advantage over many communications students because I have been studying in the field for 7 years now.” Ilani hopes to pursue either journalism or business and is certain that her time at Dreyfoos will stay with her in the future, stating that “When you’re at Dreyfoos…you’re with family.”