Six Seneca boys and six Seneca girls battled for the title on March 7.
Six Seneca High School boys and six girls battled for the titles of Mr. and Ms. Seneca at the Golden Eagle Pageant on March 7.
Teachers and staff were asked to nominate a senior student who they felt exemplifies Seneca spirit, ethics and values. Throughout that process, 72 senior students were nominated, and 12 students were selected by a random drawing on the high school’s morning show.
The students selected to participate were Mitchell Tippin, Jonah Mikulski, Justin Patton, Kyle Davis, Sean Casey, Carl Gibbs, Emma DiLauro, Alyssa Fox, Erica Umbehauer, Reilly Ritter, Jess Waters and Nina Rossi.
Each student took the stage to present in the following categories: monthly, where each student dressed in correlation to their assigned month; talent, which was judged on impressive/humorous talent, originality and creativity; formal wear and question/answer, which was judged on charisma and stage presence; congeniality, which is voted on by the other contestants based on unconditional kindness and support shown throughout the pageant process; charity fundraising; and audience favorite.
The scores from each category were compiled for two ultimate winners of Mr. and Ms. Seneca, who were also awarded prom tickets and $100 Amazon gift cards. In addition, there were trophies given to Mr. and Ms. Charity — those who raised the most funds to benefit Seneca’s after-prom event, Prom House 110 Carranza.
The winners who were named Mr. and Ms. Seneca were Casey and Waters, who agreed the experience was well worth it, both expressing pride for their efforts.
“Performing in the pageant was an all around amazing experience, and whether I won or not, I was going to be very satisfied. I felt as though I did a good job all around, and was happy with the audience’s reaction. But of course, it was pretty sweet to win,” Casey said. “At first, I was a little shocked, but also very proud of myself and was happy that people enjoyed my performance. My whole family was there watching, and once I saw them afterwards, it began to really kick in as I was swarmed with joy and congratulations.”
Similarly, Waters said she was fortunate to have had the opportunity to represent Seneca on stage, saying, “I was so happy and surprised when I found out I had won. I thought everyone did a fantastic job, and I was so grateful when I won, and I still am. I love being able to represent Seneca.”
Waters said she spent most of her time preparing for the talent portion of the pageant, where she performed a choreographed dance alongside other students to display the message that “you are worth it.”
“I wanted to send a message saying that you should be who you want to be and that you are worth more than what you think you are, along with entertaining the audience and judges while I was at it,” Waters said.
Gibbs and Rossi were named Mr. and Ms. Charity, raising $109 and $211 respectively, to contribute to the total funds raised, $1,046.
Rossi will receive a student council-sponsored scholarship at graduation for raising the most funds.
“When I won the charity award, I was overjoyed. I’m honored to be making a positive impact on Seneca and to know that when I graduate, my name will be remembered in a positive way,” Rossi said. “The effort [to raise money] was definitely worth it. Prom House was made as a safe house for students to go to after prom. It’s very important to us as Seneca students, not only because it ensures we don’t go out to drink after prom, but also because it brings us closer together.”
Student council advisor Erica Maira coordinated the pageant, alongside co-advisors Kristina Foster and Matt Abate, and said the event was entertaining from start to finish, and she was impressed with the hard work each student put in.
“The show is so much fun to do because it pushes the students to move out of their comfort zone. They are able to get in touch with untapped talent and creativity ,but mostly their bravery and creativity,” Maira said. “It was one of the best performances we have had in six years.”