Coronavirus crisis forces delay in yearbook printing; students who paid for one will have to wait until after June 6 when the school year has ended to pick it up


Though the 2019-2020 yearbook will not be distributed until June, Helios released an image of what the front cover looks like in a 77-second theme-release video posted April 24 on the publication’s YouTube channel and Instagram account. The “Keep Talking We’re Listening”-themed book faced a delay in printing because the publishing company had to shut down from late March to early May in response to the state’s guidelines for non-essential businesses to close to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minjeong Kim, Feature Editor

This story was updated May 24 at 12:30 p.m. to show that yearbook distribution was reportedly delayed for the Class of 1963, four years after the school opened in 1959.

This story was updated again May 25 at 4:30 p.m. with quotes about what happened in 1963.

For the first time since 1963 in the Helios program’s history, students who purchased a 2019-2020 yearbook will not be able to get one until after the school year is over next month because the annual’s printing company was closed for a little over six weeks to meet the state’s COVID-19 guidelines.

Helios adviser Lindsay Safe said even though her staff met its deadline to complete the publication, the yearbook’s publishing company, Herff Jones, was closed from March 24 to May 3 because the government deemed the firm a non-essential business to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“The printing of our book was put on hold until they reopened,” Safe said. “The ship date was originally set for May 9 but was pushed to June 6.”

According to one May 24 post in the Sunny Hills alumni Facebook page from Candace Hoag, the Class of 1963’s yearbook did not get distributed until after that school year ended.

“But we did have a signing day that summer,” said Hoag, who was a senior back then. She did not recall the reason students didn’t get their book in time.

Meanwhile, for Sunny Hills this school year, Safe said “we are currently working out the details for yearbook distribution but do not have any new information at this time.”

One thing is for certain — the traditional senior yearbook signing party like all other end-of-the-year events for 12th-graders such as Grad Nite and prom will not take place in the gym even after the books are passed out next month.

The opportunity to have others besides his friends sign his annual is what senior David Tinajero said he’ll miss the most.

“I talk to my friends all the time so I’m not really disappointed, but I am bummed out that I won’t be able to get it signed by my favorite teachers,” said Tinajero, who purchased his yearbook on Lancer registration day before the school year started in August.

First-year Helios staffer sophomore Jeannie Lee said she will still be excited to see the bound yearbook when it’s delivered next month even though she won’t get a chance to see students’ reactions upon reading and flipping over the pages of it in a school environment.

“I think it would’ve been fulfilling to watch other students compliment and appreciate something that we’ve been working on the entire year,” said Lee, who worked on five sections in the bound yearbook and one of the parts of the supplement. “However, I’m not too upset because I know that people will still read it and be pleased, share it with their friends and text the Helios staff complimenting the work.”  

No matter what, Safe and her staff believe the 2019-2020 book titled, “Keep Talking We’re Listening,” will have historic value beyond its late distribution.

For example, because of the cancellation of the majority of the school’s spring sports, Helios staff members said they were only able to cover a limited number of games before they were canceled because of school closure related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the content was not enough to fill a normal page, the spring sports section for this year’s yearbook will look much different in layout and content compared with previous years’ publications.

“As for sports specifically though, we’re asking the student athletes in spring sports to share their fitness plan in isolation and how they feel about their season coming to an end,” said senior Isaac Ham, one of the Helios’ staff members assigned to work on the spring sports pages.

With the coronavirus crisis being a major event that impacted the campus and Fullerton community as a whole, the top yearbook editors decided to make it part of the supplement pages, which usually comes as a separate section that can be tacked on at the end of the bound yearbook.

Meanwhile, Helios has also worked toward promoting its publication on social media — even during school classroom closure.

Helios posted the yearbook’s theme release video April 24 on its YouTube channel and its Instagram account

The 77-second clip mixes several scenes with words in split-second transitions; it starts by displaying the most memorable events that happened throughout the 2019-2020 school year from football games to assemblies.

At the mid-point, the front cover appears over a black background; the cover features small white letters filling the entire page with the title more than halfway down in all caps: KEEP TALKING (in black with white outline) and below that, WE’RE LISTENING in yellow — the black and yellow representing the school’s colors.

It then ends with more split-second transitions of words and phrases and a scrolling down list of phrases along with a visual mic drop before repeating the theme again.


Because the Fullerton Joint Union High School District closed down all of its school campuses, including Sunny Hills, in mid-March, the yearbook program wasn’t able to carry out its normal application submission process and celebration of those who got selected.

Instead of holding a welcome to the staff lunch party during the school day, Safe posted on May 15 on Instagram the new 2020-2021 staff members comprising 27 students.

They will be encouraged to attend the summer yearbook camp, but instead of going to “Yearbook at the Beach” at California State University, Long Beach, staffers will stay at home for a virtual one from July 25-29 because of the coronavirus crisis.

Besides the mystery of what the yearbook’s content will feature, another lies in who the new 2020-2021 Helios student leaders will be along with the other positions like copy editor. Safe declined to comment as to when and how that list will be posted for returning staff members.