Gym lobby digitalizes Vikings’ past

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Photos by Susanna Tang

Lynbrook looks back on its history through the gym lobby’s monitor.

Meera Nambiar

Hidden in a corner of the gym lobby, an unassuming touch screen monitor holds Lynbrook’s history through generations of yearbooks. With volumes dating back to the school’s founding, the interactive monitor allows students to travel through time and visit Lynbrook from decades past.

 “We added it as a way to honor the history of Lynbrook, and we hope that students will see that they are part of a larger Lynbrook legacy,” Principal Maria Jackson said.  

Although installed in December 2020, the 2021-22 school year is the first year students can use the monitor. As a new feature in the new gym lobby, the monitor is unknown among most students.

“Looking through the yearbooks was really interesting, and I was surprised they existed,” junior Sruti Elangovan said. “I didn’t think that the pictures from the 1960s would be colored.”

The monitor was the idea of athletic director Jennifer Griffin, who wanted to make the yearbooks more accessible to students and showcase the school’s legacy. 

“The yearbooks show Lynbrook’s history, and it’s fun to see the different styles over the years,” Griffin said. “It’s also easier to look at than going to the library and finding them. I wouldn’t do that, but if I’m at the gym for a game, I would come look at it.”

Organized by decade, every yearbook is on the monitor. Swiping through them, one can spot how dramatically the school has changed in both appearance and culture. In the school’s first yearbook from 1966, students are seen in 60s style haircuts and outfits. Groups ranging from Home Economics Club to the boys basketball team, as well as events such as the Sadie Hawkins Dance and the Winter Ball, are featured. By the 1980s, pages come to life with color, and familiar events, such as Homecoming, begin making an appearance.

The interactive monitor features tabs for yearbooks as well as athletics, showcasing photos of student athletes and sports schedules. In the athletics tab, one can look at each sport and see the Central Coast Section titles that teams and individuals have won throughout the years. The monitor also live streams sports games in the gym.  

As an additional component, Griffin hopes to create a digital Hall of Fame for student athletes, for which athletes of both the past and present can have their sports accomplishments memorialized.

“A lot of schools have a Hall of Fame when it comes to athletics, and our school has never done that, and it’s something I would like to add,” Griffin said. “It’s a Hall of Fame and you get inducted into it for a sport, and it would be on the monitor.”

In addition, students can find photos of teachers who attended Lynbrook in the past, including Griffin. Past alumni can also see their yearbooks and reminisce on their high school memories. 

 “It’s fun to look back at Homecoming memories, and I think it would be fun for new students to see how things were done many years ago,” Griffin said.

The monitor is a unique addition to campus, and Jackson hopes that students will explore the monitor to compare Lynbrook now versus then.

I would like students to see how similar and different generations before them were,” Jackson said. “Looking at old yearbooks offers a unique perspective on the life of teens since 1965.”