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Middle School Yearbook Cover Selected

MARCH 16, 2023 — The first thing middle school students will notice when they pick up their yearbooks at the end of the year is a piece of artwork by eighth grader Natyiah Velazquez.

In February, a committee picked her hand-drawn cover of the 2023 Midlakes Middle School Yearbook from about a dozen submissions to the yearbook committee, which includes yearbook advisors Julie Pastore and Laura Robbins-Milliman.

"It's just amazing, everything that she put into it, and how she included everything we have to offer," said Mrs. Pastore, who added that Velazquez has "amazing artistic abilities."

The cover depicts Velazquez’s hand-drawn eagle surrounded by icons of the different activities offered to Midlakes students, key student values of respect, responsibility, independence, and kindness along with the motto: Many eagles, one heart.

Velazquez sketched out her design and also turned to the computer to add different typefaces to her design. Velazquez said she enjoys the creativity of art and plans to study art next year in high school and was “excited” to learn that her design was picked.

"I think that it is great that people can do what they feel like they want to do (and) I thought it would be good to have a cover that represents all those activities," Velazquez said. "I wanted to draw something for the yearbook and have always wanted to do that since I got to the school."

Families can order copies of the 2023 Middle School Yearbook through May 5 by using the code 11918323 at with questions may email Julie Pastore, Yearbook advisor, at Yearbooks will be distributed during the last week of the academic year.