Arcadia News is proud to announce this year’s scholarship winner, Arcadia High student Lainey Durchslag.
Lainey has been an active member of the Arcadia High community. She was the drum major of the Spirit of Arcadia Marching Band her sophomore through senior years, a member of the wind ensemble for four years, president of Lunch Club, part of the Raising Awareness Club her junior year and a participant in the film program for four years – which helped nurture her interest in filmmaking.
Lainey will be attending Northern Arizona University in the fall.
“It’s really exciting to be graduating and going to college. I’m ready to start the next phase of my life,” Lainey said. “I’m most excited for the change of scenery at NAU – I chose NAU because I wanted to stay close to home while also living somewhere colder.”
Lainey will be majoring in creative filmmaking.
“My favorite part of the media/filmmaking world is the pre-production stage of creating a film. I love this part because it’s how a movie begins and includes tasks such as script writing and casting,” Lainey said.
During her four years of participating in marching band, the Spirit of Arcadia won six state championship titles and first place and caption awards at competitions. Caption awards are extra awards given to the marching band that receives the highest score in one of the following categories: auxiliary (color guard), percussion, music, visual and general effect.
While in the film program at AHS, Lainey learned script writing, casting, scheduling, lighting and editing for student-produced projects. Near the end of each school year, the film class creates a 15-minute film to show at the Arcadia Film Festival held at Harkins Shea 14.
“For these projects, we get the opportunity to cast actors outside of Arcadia’s student body. I took over as casting director for my sophomore year group and I fell in love with it. My favorite part of casting is seeing what new people can bring to a character,” Lainey said. “I loved watching all of our hard work on a real Harkins movie theater screen.”
Lainey knew back in middle school that she wanted to be a part of the media business.
“I have a lot of fun creating projects and watching scripts I write come to life,” Lainey said. “My goal for my career in media is to be a casting director or a producer.”
The Arcadia News Scholarship was created in 2005 by publisher Greg Bruns. The $500 check is awarded to one or more graduating Arcadia High students who will be pursuing an education in the realm of journalism, broadcasting, communications or other media-related fields.
To apply, students had to write a letter about their experiences working in media classes and what they aspire to in the future, as well as obtain a letter of recommendation from a faculty or community member. The scholarship is traditionally awarded at the Senior Honors and Awards Ceremony, which was held virtually this year on May 13.Congratulations, Lainey and we wish you all the best for your future at NAU!