By: Marin Murray

The Flashlight was recently awarded two national awards for the 2021 yearbook. They received a First Class rating with Two Marks of Distinction from the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) and the Award of Distinguished Merit from the Interscholastic League Press Conference (ILPC). Both of these prestigious awards are nationally recognized.

“It was really exciting. I was really proud of everybody that I worked with,” senior staffer Kalev Wren said. “I think we did a good job. We formed a little family and got through the year together.”

Although the Flashlight is usually recognized by these organizations, last year’s special circumstances made these awards even more worth the hard work.

“I think it really motivates the kids and it helps them realize that we put together a quality product and it takes a lot of work,” yearbook adviser Amber Via said. “But when we are done we have something that people all over the nation are able to see, look at, use for ideas, and celebrate.”

Even with all of the setbacks last year due to Covid, the staff was able to pull through to create a yearbook worth celebrating. This year, although only a month and a half in, they are already ahead and are determined to make this year’s book even better than the last.

“We’ve got a lot of experienced staff returning and so we have probably got one of the strongest leadership teams we’ve ever had,” Via said. “And in addition to that, we are already probably four to five weeks ahead of where we were this time last year, because we were able to go to summer workshop and get things put into place.”

This year the book will be “fun” and “unique”, but most of all it will continue to capture student’s lives, just as it always has through wars, pandemics, and everything in between since 1911.

“Students might take hundreds of Instagram photos and post things on Snapchat all day long,” Via said. “But the yearbook is the only place where they’re able to go back in and look at these memories and never have to worry about them getting deleted or lost on social media. It compiles everything in that school year, and that’s the only place they’re going to have the accessibility to do that or the ability to go back and look at all of that.”

The yearbook is already available for pre-order on However, paper order forms will be handed out in mid-October. Students who order their yearbook before Thanksgiving will be able to purchase their book for just $50.