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A year's memories

Columbine 2000 yearbook is dedicated to the victims, but committed to moving on

By Holly Kurtz
Denver Rocky Mountain News Staff Writer

 

Yearbooks are meant to be records of Friends and Farah Fawcett hairdos, of crushes that never went anywhere and classmates who did.

The Columbine 2000 yearbook due out next month will be all that and more.

It is dedicated to the victims of the April 20, 1999, shootings. But it is about Columbine 2000.

"We wanted to honor them but not dwell on them," senior pages editor Courtney Shakowski, 18, said of the shooting victims.

It wasn't always that way. At yearbook camp last July, some editors wanted something less memory book than memorial.

Then school started again.

"I guess when we came back, it wasn't about April 20," said yearbook academics editor Annette Shinn, 18. "I mean it was, but it was about moving on."

It was also about producing 1,800 copies of a high school yearbook so high-profile that some of its staff photos have already appeared in Time magazine.

However, things have not been completely different this year. Adviser Eric Friesen still has final say. Staffers still lounge on the dorm-room vintage couches in the publications classroom.

Only this April, student photographers have worn traffic-cone bright badges all year to ensure they weren't mistaken for paparazzi and kicked out of the school building.

Editors stung by media criticism that Columbine coddled and glamorized athletes are being extra careful to represent kids with different interests.

Also, the number of paid dedications doubled to 300, in part because people were submitting memories of those who died.

The family of murdered student Rachel Scott, for example, placed a baby picture and a message.

Shakowski and Shinn, who wrote the opening and closing essays that bookend the volume, say the extra work that has gone into this yearbook has been worth it.

"I think it's a powerful book," Shinn said.

"I think it's inspirational," Shakowski said.

April 17, 2000