By Grace Bernstein
Homecoming is one of the first meaningful traditions of the school year for many students. Oak Hall recently named its Homecoming Court for the special occasion. A homecoming court is where a female and a male from each grade is nominated by their peers, and from there elected to the court. For the Seniors, an added bonus is the possibility of being crowned homecoming king and queen.
Kate Pickens and Dylan Provencher are the nominees for the freshmen class.
Kate Pickens is an Oak Hall Lifer, as she has attended OHS since preschool. This dual athlete is described as selfless, athletic, and hard-working. “It was awesome to be nominated [to] the homecoming court [and] I am just thankful for the opportunity to represent my grade,” she said. Kate feels that the best quote to describe her is, “God first, others second, I’m third.”
Dylan Provencher is described by his friends as being trustworthy and friendly. “I took pride in hearing my peers voted for me,” he said, and noted the nomination meant a lot to him. Dylan’s life motto is, “It’s better to aim high and miss than to aim low and hit”.
Savi Gilson and Tommy Mandese are the sophomore nominees.
Savi Gilson is described by her friends as fun, caring, and outgoing. For Savi, being elected to the Homecoming Court was “unexpected but pretty exciting,” she said. To describe herself, she used a quote from Tyler, the Creator: “Youth is something I never want to take for granted. I just want to smile and live life.”
Tommy Mandese is very versatile, as he likes to “expand on my friend groups and not limit myself,” he said. Being as nice as possible to everyone he knows and loves is important to him. His nomination to Homecoming Court was unexpected and took him by surprise, as he did not even know he was on the ballot!
Jenna Poppell and Ani Gogineni are the junior nominees.
Jenna Poppell describes herself as outgoing, and enjoys reading as well as swimming. Her friends characterize her as “happy spirit that enjoys cheering us up and making us laugh”. When nominated, Jenna was surprised and is excited to participate in all of the festivities during homecoming week.
Ani Gogineni’s friends describe him as laid back and funny, and the nomination to the court is exciting for him. To show off his funny side, Ani believes the quote that best describes him is a (now deleted) Tweet by the one and only, Kanye West: “Sometimes I get emotional over fonts.”
Emma Anderson, Maya Harris, and Mason Johnson are the senior female nominations for queen, while Colby Curtis, Collin Ponton, and Zhai Smith are the senior male nominations for king.
Emma Anderson is charismatic and lighthearted, while her friend Evie Kelly describes her as “spunky funky fresh”. Emma, who is an OHS lifer, dances at Danscompany and played the role of Cinderella in last year’s annual production of Cinderella. She is the president of the Student Government Association and was excited to be nominated to the court because she loves tiaras!
Maya Harris is another Oak Hall Lifer who has a bright personality and is seen by her friends as a person they can always rely on. Maya plays varsity volleyball and basketball for OHS and is president of Dance Marathon. When nominated Maya was “excited to represent the school that has given me so much since I came here in preschool,” she noted.
Mason Johnson is the president of Oak Hall’s National Honor Society (NHS), and vice president of Key Club. She is described by her friends as “supportive and caring” which she exemplifies as the captain of the competitive cheerleading squad. “It is exciting to get the opportunity to represent my class to the community,” she said.
OHS lifer Colby Curtis is a swimmer for OHS, chair of Honor Council, and is described by his friends as being trustworthy, and deeply cares for others. He believes his best quality is being a good friend. Being nominated for the court was exciting for Colby. “I wasn’t expecting it,” he said excitedly.
Collin Ponton is a hard worker who plays varsity basketball and varsity football, while his friends see him as a positive person. He is happy to “represent my school with the nomination” and would describe himself as someone who always tries to help others.
Having Zhai Smith’s friends nominate him for Homecoming Court was a “great feeling” for Zhai, as he has a diverse group of friends. Zhai is incredibly liked by OHS students because he “just has to be myself”.
Congratulations to this year’s Homecoming Court! The king and queen will be crowned at halftime of the homecoming football game, Friday, Oct. 18.