The Stiletto staff working on 100th edition


By Liz Rotzler

To most students, it is just another day at school. The students in Mrs. Rotzler’s Lockhart High School yearbook classes, however, are under pressure. A real-world deadline is looming, and in less than a month, all remaining pages of the yearbook are due.

Each year, Rotzler’s students work together to publish a book that did not exist when the school year began in August. 

“It is quite a challenge every year,” said Rotzler, the yearbook advisor. “Imagine having a crew of 25-35, or more, people, in multiple class periods, working together to create one, almost 200-page book in less than 10 months. During the production of the yearbook, the group must also presale the yearbook, and create and market advertisements for both seniors and businesses. This class is about as ‘real world’ as you can get with a high school course.” 

This year, Lockhart High School yearbook students are hard at work creating the 100th volume of the Lockhart High School yearbook, The Stiletto. The first issue of The Stiletto was published in 1914. It was a smaller, soft-cover book that was handmade. Rotzler said today’s students are fortunate to have a copy of it. This yearbook begins and ends with business ads (used to help finance the book), includes portraits of the students and faculty, a social section, and an athletics section. Back in the earlier years of Stiletto production, the “annuals” were not created annually.

“I can only speculate that it was not easy to print or finance yearbooks every year in the earlier years,” said Rotzler. 

The early issues had very little, if any, color in them. The 1925 Stiletto has one color page — which happened to be the page of the printing company. Today’s yearbooks are published in full color. The cost of these student-generated productions can start from $15,000. The price of the production of our current yearbooks is offset by the price of the yearbooks to the customers, but is supplemented by the student and business ads. 

The theme for this year’s Stiletto is, “Who we are and who we were.” This year’s cover has a refreshed version of the crest that was found in the 1970s yearbooks as well as photos from past yearbooks paying tribute to the teams and organizations that came before. 

“In our research, we found out that there was a women’s basketball team in 1914,” Rotzler said. “I had no idea that women played basketball in high school then.” 

“Are you finished with your pages?” asks Editor-in-Chief Micaela Mendez. “What can I do to help you? Do you need someone to get an interview for you? Can you upload the photos that you took last weekend?” 

She continues asking questions as she walks around the room checking in on her yearbook staffers. Micaela is one of two editors-in-chief in Rotzler’s yearbook classes. She and Emma Troquille take pride in helping Rotzler run the logistics of this student-led production during their class periods. 

Many teachers have a more structured, calm atmosphere in their classrooms. That is not the case in Mrs. Rotzler’s yearbook classroom. 

“After a colleague stepped in for part of a period for me, he described my classroom as a busy little newsroom. I take this as a compliment,” Rotzler said. 

Students are working on pages, leaving the classroom to conduct interviews with other students and to take their photos, uploading and editing photos, and working on advertisements for businesses and personal (senior) ads. 

“I had never thought of my class like that until he said it,” Rotzler said. “I had worried that he was going to be annoyed with the buzz that is my typical room, but instead, he was pleasantly amused.”

The yearbook is created by students to capture the memories and events that are happening on campus and in the community. In a school of almost 2000 students, it does not sell as many copies as might be expected, usually finishing the year selling about 225 copies. Many students say the cost of our yearbook — which starts off at $55 and will go up to $75 at the end of the year — is too expensive. This is an unfortunate truth in a Title 1 school district. Therefore, Rotzler has set up a system under which community members can purchase copies of the yearbook for students. 

If you are interested in purchasing a yearbook for yourself or for a deserving student, you can go to and do so. You can enter a student’s name or, if you would like to buy one to be donated to a deserving student, you can purchase one as an Angel Donor. Simply go to and add the name, “Angel Donor” as the name of the student. If you would like more information about this program, you can email the yearbook staff at


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