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EDITORIAL: Why Sequoia Queen is a Good Idea

Finding ways to positively promote young women is the program's mission.

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In the past, Sequoia Queen was a beauty pageant for senior girls, a precursor to today’s Mr. ACHS. The only difference is that each year the Sequoia Queen was chosen by a celebrity. Aside the unique twist to this pageant, this contest was diminished and the senior girls never had a chance to be part of a school pageant, up until this year.

For the 2015 April issue of the Tom Tom, the staff resurrected the Sequoia Queen with a few modifications. This go-around, writer Jessica Guzman and Advertising Director Kristina Esdale are running the pageant and transforming it from a popularity contest to a recognition for senior girls who are hard-working, show strong leadership and communication skills, are involved in school and community activities, and portray a positive attitude towards others. The Tom Tom believes that our school’s senior girls deserve a chance to be noticed for being role models.

ACHS’s Student Council dedicates a lot of time and effort into the annual Mr. ACHS pageant. Mr. ACHS is a fun way for the males in the senior class to share some good laughs with the audience and to make memories. The contestants choose a female escort of their choice; show off swim, formal and casual wear; and also share a talent of theirs with the audience and judges. Some faculty and students voiced their opinion to the staff, claiming the Sequoia Queen is inappropriate to do to girls. Surely, however, if it is deemed inappropriate for girls to participate in a pageant then it must be inappropriate for boys to compete in Mr. ACHS. If it is inappropriate for girls then should it not be inappropriate for boys too? There is no difference in both pageants aside from gender. The boys are offered with such a grand opportunity to take part in something meaningful and thrilling, and for the longest time, the girls were either escorting the boys on and off the stage, or sitting down in with the rest of the audience. This isn’t about a pageant; it’s about giving girls a chance to shine.

The final five contestants for Sequoia Queen are Lauren Novick, Carly McCameron, Heather Beckman, Samantha Ditzenberger and Hannah Skoog. These five ladies are working together with the Guzman and Esdale to coordinate a Q&A session as part of the pageant process. A very fun twist is that the former ACHS Sequoia Queens will be the judges for this year’s pageant. After judging, the Tom Tom will hold a photoshoot with the final five and all the photos will be included in the April issue of the Tom Tom.

The mission of our program was phrased and advertised professionally in announcements and the female senior class individuals are able to nominate others or themselves out of choice. Our staff’s mission with this recognition is to have fun and to do so modestly. Our practice is not to exploit our senior girls, nor are we utilizing it as a way to de-feminize the status of any girl in the senior class. Sequoia Queen is a spectacular opportunity for the girls to be part of a life-long memory where all the contestants will forever be recognized as leaders, role models and, win or lose, a Sequoia Queen.

 

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The student news site of Antioch Community High School.
EDITORIAL: Why Sequoia Queen is a Good Idea