Hero Awards


Jay Allen

Jay AllenAmerican Fork High School was established one hundred and twenty years ago. Among all the things that need to be set up or created when starting a school, they needed to decide on a mascot. Capitalizing on the recently discovered caves just up the canyon, the school decided to adopt the mascot of the caveman. Initially, there may not have been any novelty of the mascot beyond just the local landmark. But in the past 120 years, the mascot has come to symbolize much more. The caveman symbolizes toughness and resiliency. The caveman symbolizes independence, strong will, and even family bonds. And there is no one else who symbolized the caveman more than Jay Allen.

Jay Allen was a caveman because he was a lifelong resident of American Fork and helped build this community to what we enjoy today. Jay was also a caveman because he taught at American Fork High School for 46 years, the home of the caveman mascot. There Jay nurtured the rising generations of American Fork, laying the groundwork for future leaders of the world and our community. Jay was a caveman because he was probably the closest person to literally live in a cave. Jay spent 53 years as a national parks ranger, all of which was spent giving tours of the Timpanogos caves. He has spent more time in those caves than probably any living person. Finally, Jay Allen was a caveman because he too showed toughness, resiliency, independence, a strong will, and lasting bonds with his family and friends.

Jay Allen has made a lasting impact to almost everyone in American Fork City. He represents all that is good here. Jay Allen is American Fork’s Caveman and a hero to us all. For these reasons, we want to honor Jay Allen posthumously by giving him this Hero Award and declaring September 26, 2022, Jay Allen Day in American Fork City.