Palmetto High School senior Caroline Castro loves to take pictures. Her role as yearbook photo editor led to her being named Palmetto’s Silver Knight nominee for journalism.
This is Castro’s second year as a member of the yearbook staff. She went into the class because her mom is a graphic designer and she was looking for a class where she could try her hand at design. “I went into yearbook with an idea toward that, but found I was more interested in photography,” Castro says.
But her interest is not just photography; it’s photojournalism. In fact, she spent so much time on photojournalism that she didn’t have time to take classes in artistic photography. “I like being responsible for capturing a really important moment,” she says, adding that it’s important to her to be able to illustrate a memory.
This has been a difficult year for the yearbook staff. They came to school one day to find out that the eight yearbook computers had been stolen. “They broke in through the window,” Castro says. “We never really thought that the computers would never be there. It was three to four months worth of pictures. It was pretty devastating.
Those are pictures we’ll never get back.” The yearbook staff had to scramble and ask fellow students for pictures of events so they could still put together a yearbook. Luckily they did have some material backed up on other computers, so they didn’t lose everything.
“Fortunately we had sent some of the really important pages to the publisher already,” Castro says. “We were able to get a lot of pictures from students in the community to fill the gap.”
The community also helped the students recover from the theft. Dr. Larry Feldman, the Pinecrest area school board member, helped them secure computers and Taylor Publishing, the yearbook publishing company, donated a computer. The yearbook staff worked hard and got back on track.
“We should pretty much have the books on time,” Castro says. “It was tough to get back on track but we pretty much pulled through.” Because of her yearbook work, Castro didn’t have a lot of time to get involved in many other activities.
“Yearbook is kind of like a job and I do a lot of covering outside of school,” she says. “That’s been a big part of my time the past two years.”
When Castro is not working on the yearbook, she is busy practicing for the swim team and the water polo team. She is captain of the water polo team, which is the sport she’d like to play in college.
“Swimming is more conditioning for me,” she says. “I like breaststroke. I do the events and I do well enough. In past years I did pretty well. I do both really for fun. I like to exercise.”
Castro did volunteer for three summers at the Camp Mustard Seed at the Kendall United Methodist Church pre-school, earning about 200 community service hours for her time there and on other events. “I love working with kids,” she says. “They are really intuitive. It’s interesting to see how they learn and how they create.”
Creativity will have a role in her college career. She is looking into majoring in communications and specializing in marketing and advertising, although she might go into photojournalism. She has been accepted to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and to Syracuse University.