Q&A: Keila Ben, Editor-in-chief, PCHS Yearbook

Photo By: Barry Villamil

Keila Ben has been working on school yearbooks since the 8th grade. She got her start at Highlands Intermediate School before joining the Pearl City High School Yearbook staff as a freshmen. Now a senior, Keila is the PCHS Hali`a Aloha Yearbook Editor-in-chief. She is a seasoned veteran and knows the yearbook business inside and out

I had a chance recently to sit down with Keila to discuss her responsibilities as Editor-in-chief and the task ahead to coordinate and produce the 2009-2010 PCHS Yearbook.

Keila has a strong support team starting with PCHS Yearbook Advisor, Ms. Michelle Hakes who does an excellent job in teaching and guiding her students through the yearbook production process. The following core of yearbook editor's also play an integral role in the success of final product.

Alyssa Yeager, Amanda Pascual, Stormy Dodge, Shelise Ikari, Kim Byun and Jennifer Iwamoto-Custodio.

In my opinion, Keila has a bright future if she should ever decide to pursue a career in print media.

It was a pleasure meeting her as well as Ms. Michelle Hakes and the very talented and hardworking PCHS 2009-2010 Hali`a Aloha Yearbook staff.

I hope you enjoy the following Q&A featuring Keila Ben.


Q: When did you begin working on the 2009-2010 PCHS Yearbook?

A: "Actually, the ending of last year we started working on our theme of the book because every book has a theme that ties it together. So we work on the theme and then we start working on the design elements like how we want to tie the book together. Also, how we want to improve the book from the previous year."

Keila with her yearbook staff hard at work. / Photo By: Barry Villamil

Q: What kind of improvements have been made from last year?

A: "This year, we are trying to keep it more organized than last year. We're trying to unify the book more and work on grammar and design elements. Also, the way we do the yearbook and how we run the class."

Q: What is the first thing you work on after returning to school in late August from the summer break?

A: "As soon as we get to school we work on templates and we take pictures and try to get everything done and then start working on the pages."

Q: How many classroom days do you meet each week to work on the yearbook?

A: "We have it everyday except Wednesday. Because it's online, I can work on it at home in case we get behind. The past three years we did it all in school. We had to come in on weekends and after school. This year, having it online helps a lot."

Q: How do you coordinate assignments?

A: "Everybody has an assignment. They are assigned a page. So if you're interested in cross country, maybe you will do a cross country page. They are responsible to make sure they have pictures for the page and a page name. It's their responsibility to finish the page."

Q: How many pages for the 2009-2010 yearbook?

A: "256."

Q: Have you increased the number of pages from last year?

A: "No, it's smaller. It's a little bit smaller."

Q: When is your deadline for all work to be completed before the yearbook goes to print?

A: "In March."

Q: Are there any deadlines to be met during the school year leading up to March?

A: "Yes, we just made our first deadline."

Q: As an 8th grader at Highlands intermediate School you were on the yearbook staff. How was the transition from Highlands Intermediate to PCHS?

 A: " I think it was different from what I expected because 8th grade was more formatted. In high school you're more responsible. I think I was more scared because there's upper classman.

Q: Now that you're a senior and Editor-in-chief, do you feel the need to mentor the under classman or is it matter of everyone getting to their assignments to get the job done?

A: "I think it's both. There's stuff I have to do too. If I could help the under classman like in the past three years, I helped them. This year, I have a lot of other responsibilities as well."

Q: What are your goals and plans for the future upon graduation from PCHS?

A: "I think I'm going to got to school here. I'm not really sure what I want to do. I wanted to do stuff in this field but I know that's hard, so I think I might go in to Criminal Justice or Forensic Sciences."

Q: Why the Criminal Justice or Forensic Science fields? CSI Miami television show have any influence?

A: "Well, I used to be interested in sciences and then I saw the shows. I read mystery books and like to figure out things."

Q: No problem with the gory side of Forensic Science?

A: "I think I might be grossed out but at the same time it's kind a cool."

Q: If you could someday find employment in the print media field, what would be your dream job?

A: "I think it would be like making layouts for a magazine. I would love to do that."