Planting their feet in Marceline

Yearbook students tour the Walsworth printing facility and make stops at Walt Disney landmarks to see the “magic”


Photo by Mark Hilburn

Using a magnifying tool senior Riley Kramolisch looks at the hidden coding on the side of a proof. As a member of the Prowler Yearbook staff she had the opportunity to travel to Marceline, Missouri to tour the Walworth printing facilities. “The tour was such a great experience to learn more about where our yearbook is printed,” Kramolisch said. “Looking at all of the little details that go into printing other papers and prints was really impressive.”

Kaitlin Reynolds, News Director

Members of the Prowler Yearbook Staff boarded a charter bus on Wednesday, Dec. 8, and made the four hour journey to Marceline, Missouri. There, they visited the three Walsworth Printing facilities to take a deeper look into the process that their yearbook undergoes before it is delivered in mid-May, and visited historical Disney locations along the way.

Breaking up into two tour groups, the 12 staff members in attendance first viewed the main printing facility. They walked through the yellow outlined path of the factory, learning about each step from the making of a 16-page signature to the final touches of the cover.

“I thought it was a great experience that really gave me a full understanding of why I should value the book,” sophomore and Prowler staff member Delaney Lueck said. “I feel like I can appreciate it more because I have seen how much goes into it even after we are done filling it with content.”

Staffers were able to get up close to each step to further grasp how the book is created, even having the opportunity to use a special tool which revealed the secret coding hidden within the ink. Printing presses filled the large warehouse-like rooms, and hay-roll sized tubes of paper matched the magnitude. They traveled around the different areas of the facility and got to see the machinery and employees in action creating paper goods, all while forming a more personal connection.

“Part of why I have taken students in the past is because I think it makes it seem more real,” adviser Mark Hilburn said. “Students on staff don’t think about the book after the pages are sent, especially if they are not an editor, and then six to eight weeks later it just shows up.”

While they were visiting the Walsworth facilities, they took the opportunity to create their cover. During a meeting with a designer they selected fabrics, materials, word placement and each element’s tactile finish. It was a collaborative effort that resulted in a final product that they were all happy with.

“We met the cover artist in person for the first time this year because last year we had to meet through Zoom,” senior and co-Editor-in-Chief Jetta Hoffner said. “Personally, I found it to be a little more stressful in person, but it was nice to get more staffers involved instead of it just being the editors like it has been in the past. It took a little bit but we finally got to a design we all could agree on.”

As part of the day’s activities, the group sat down to eat lunch with Walworth employees and meet the CEO of the company, Don Walsworth. A private chef served a menu of fish, potatoes, hush puppies, salad and tortellini soup for the students to enjoy. 

“All of the people who worked in the office treated us like celebrities,” junior and Senior Photos Editor Kelsey Nunnenkamp said. “When we met Don he was really welcoming and told us he was proud of all the hard work that we put into our award-winning yearbook.”

The town of Marceline is home to the Walsworth headquarters but also serves as the hometown of a famous historical figure: Walt Disney. After making the discovery, the staff stopped by the informational museum and signed their names on a replica of his barn which sits in the original location.

“It was fun to learn how a yearbook is made but it was also an adventure,” senior and Copy Editor Samantha Vojslavek said. “No one would really travel to Maracline just to see Disney’s hometown, but it was cool to stop by while we were there. We weren’t planning on it, and it kind of turned into a spontaneous field trip on top of another.”

The tour served as an informational and enriching experience for the staff members who were previously unaware of the detailed process that goes on once the final pages are sent to the printing company while simultaneously offering unexpected entertainment.