Bowie Yearbook Gains National Recognition


By Jack Orloff

The new year will be one for the books for Bowie High School. The “Lone Star Yearbook” was named as a finalist for two national awards: a Pacemaker from the National Scholastic Press Association and a Crown from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.

For both the Crown and Pacemaker awards, publications are judged on their excellence in design, photography, concept, journalistic coverage, and writing. Judges review yearbooks from throughout the country.

Only 39 high schools in the country are selected as finalists for the Crown every year.

Lindsey Shirack, Bowie yearbook adviser, said their mission is to tell their story in an interesting and engaging way.

"Ultimately, it's a book made by students for students, and the Bowie community is our audience,” Shirack said. “Submitting the book to national organizations means we know how we're stacking up against other yearbook staff across the country who have the same goal for their communities."

Getting the yearbook finished did not come easily. The yearbook staff — along with most of the campus — was mostly virtual throughout the year.

"My editors-in-chiefs refused to cut pages or compromise their standards of quality, reasoning that there were still 2,875 stories to tell," Shirack said. "They mastered collaborating virtually and hopped around breakout rooms with different partner groups to provide feedback and coaching. Beyond virtual interviews and requests for photos, it was a whole new set of skills.”

When asked what her students learned, Shirack said they adopted skills they will use throughout their lives.

"They may not go on to be a journalist or photographer, but they will all benefit from being able to communicate effectively, collaborate, set and meet deadlines, problem-solve, and manage projects,” she said. “Just like all companies and organizations that transitioned to virtual last year, my students had to adapt and grow their skills in order to produce."

The winners for CSPA's Gold and Silver Crown awards will be announced in March of 2022, and the NSPA Pacemaker winner will be announced in April at the conventions award ceremony.

"In a year where many felt disconnected and isolated, my students created a 376-page book that unifies the experience of being a Bowie student during the 2020-21 school year, and I'm so proud of the work they achieved and that it is being recognized nationally," said Shirack.

For more information on the finalists, pleases visit