Miss CHS A Success

Danielle Reed

From December 2009:

Instead of taking up the traditional ballots from every class for Miss Chamblee High School nominees, Beta Club officers decided to conduct the selection of this year’s Miss CHS pageant contestants differently.

“The girls are usually nominated,” said Beta Club president Christina Nguyen. “In the past, they dropped out a lot, so this year, we made the girls try out and we had a better show because of it.”

Last year, girls who had been nominated by their classes dropped out later after they realized how much commitment the pageant would take, or that they did not have a strong talent. The Miss CHS Pageant 2009 was no different because it featured no freshmen. The freshmen who auditioned did not attend rehearsals.

“I have mixed feelings about the ‘no freshmen,’” said pageant sponsor Gail Gavant. “Of course, the more the better, but it lets the pageant end in a timely way, and so it did. It also allowed more attention to be focused on other girls.”

Senior Gabriela Alcendra is from Texas, and this was her first year participating in the Miss CHS pageant. Alcendra wanted to see how far she could go in the pageant and stay committed. In her audition, she recited an original poem called “My Favorite Love” which landed her a spot as a contestant. Due to her talent, poise, and moving presentation, Alcendra was crowned the senior queen of the Miss CHS pageant.

Junior Raki Rush is from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She learned to speak publicly and recite poetry when she was in her elementary school drama club. Rush also learned poise and etiquette when she was part of John Casablanca’s Modeling Agency in fourth through sixth grade. Rush recited a poem for her talent called “Ego Trippin.” Though she felt her pageant gown was not as fancy as the other contestants’, she felt comfortable and held her head high. Rush was crowned princess for the juniors in the pageant.

“I was surprised that I won because I messed up in the opening dance,” said Rush. “My interview went really well. Even though my family wasn’t there, I spoke a lot about them to the judges, and I think that won them over.”

Sophomore Dejah Ault is from New York. She has recited her original poem “The Refusal To Comply with One’s Heart” in performances from New York to Pennsylvania. Ault gets her love of poetry from her godparents who were also poets. “The Refusal to Comply with One’s Heart” was the poem Ault recited for her talent in the pageant. Throughout the night of the pageant, Ault refused to let her nerves get in her way, and to help, she prayed. Ault was crowned princess for the sophomores.

I wasn’t expecting that,” said Ault. “I felt blessed because I was praying before they called my name. I almost died.”

The choosing of contestants was not the only ramification made to the pageant this year. Judging for the Miss CHS pageant focused more on talent, pose, and presentation, and less on appearance.

Unfortunately, attendance for the pageant was still not as high as expected. This was due to ticket sale inconsistencies and limited advertising.

“The turnout wasn’t commensurate with the amount of work that went into the pageant on behalf of the Beta Club and the girls,” said Gavant.

Beta Club was able to raise about $400 in profit from ticket sales and concessions. Last year about $700 was raised. These proceeds were raised to help in the fight to find a cure for Muscular Dystrophy.

“Being in the Miss CHS pageant was a really great experience,” said former contestant Elandra Loyal. “Not only did I learn the dances, but I met other people. It was really fun and something I never expected to do. I’m definitely going to do it next year.”