The deadline for the staff to ship off the final product for printing was fast approaching, and Schulz and her classmates were not close to having a completed yearbook.
" the end of the year, I got the sense we weren't going to be able to finish it," Schulz said.
South Summit High Principal Steve Camp said that once it was clear the deadline to finish the yearbook was not going to be met, the class's advisor made the decision to postpone the yearbook. However, the advisor failed to notify the administration until near the end of the school year, when it was too late to take any action. As a result, students did not have yearbooks to sign on the last day of school.
"Obviously, we weren't happy about it, and the community wasn't happy about it," Camp said. "But at that point, what can you do?"
After exploring options to get yearbooks to students during the summer, the administration decided to wait until the upcoming school year starts. The school will hold a yearbook signing August 22, before the Wildcats' first football game.
Camp acknowledges it's far from a perfect solution, particularly because many students have left town for college, LDS Church missions or employment, but he said it's the best option, given the circumstances.
"You do blow that opportunity to have that yearbook signing celebration at the end of the year," Camp said.
Schulz was at first disappointed about not being able to sign yearbooks on the last day of school. But to her, missing out on participating in that rite of spring one final time wasn't a heartbreaker.
"It was a bummer at first, but I realized I had all summer to see my friends," Schulz said. "I know for other students it was more of a disappointment."
South Summit High's administration has taken action to make sure the yearbook is never delayed again, with the key step being a change in which class produces the yearbook. A photography class will now produce the yearbook, rather than the student body officer/leadership class that previously created it.
"It fits right into that class," Camp said. "The yearbook is geared more toward that class."
Camp said missing this year's deadline was not the fault of the students in the student body officer/leadership class, but rather a result of the students being stretched too thin, a conclusion with which Schulz agreed.
"I enjoyed working on the yearbook," Schulz said. "But we were also planning graduation, dances, homecoming and things throughout the year. With that much to do, things fall through the cracks. Obviously, the yearbook shouldn't have been one of them, but that's what happened."
Students who won't be able to attend the yearbook signing party will still be able to get their yearbooks, Camp said. Friends or family members can pick the yearbooks up for them, and the school also is offering to ship yearbooks at no cost to students. Students who no longer want their yearbooks can also get a refund.
"We're trying to make the best of a bad situation," Camp said. "It should never happen again."