THE SEMINOLE NEWSPAPER

SEMINOLE CROWNS NEW MISS SHS

Eleven+juniors+competed+in+the+talent+portion+of+Miss+SHS%2C+which+was+held+last+night.
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SEMINOLE CROWNS NEW MISS SHS

Eleven juniors competed in the talent portion of Miss SHS, which was held last night.

Eleven juniors competed in the talent portion of Miss SHS, which was held last night.

Contributed

Eleven juniors competed in the talent portion of Miss SHS, which was held last night.

Contributed

Contributed

Eleven juniors competed in the talent portion of Miss SHS, which was held last night.

Jillian Kindy, Editor

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Grace, poise, and beauty are generally the focus of pageants, but Seminole High School’s annual Miss SHS scholarship competition focuses on academic merit, skills, and talent. After weeks of preparation, the new 2018-19 Miss SHS was crowned last night: IB junior and our very own junior editor-in-chief Malavika Kannan.

“It is such an honor to be chosen to represent my school,” said Kannan. “I’m incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to express myself and hopefully make a difference in our campus.”

The competition began with aspiring candidates submitting a resume and application. Each contestant also was required to submit an essay that was pre-judged before the final event, discussing the changes that she intended to bring to the school if selected as Miss SHS.

Next, the candidates participated in a personal interview with the judges on Jan. 28. Finally, the 11 ladies joined together at the KWC for last night’s talent portion where they showed off their individual talents and answered an on-the-spot interview question. For her talent, Kannan performed a slam poem she had written about gun violence.

“All the girls were extremely talented. You could tell that they had been practicing hard for this moment, and you could tell that they really loved what they were doing,” said judge Wendy Brandon, CEO of Central Florida Regional Medical Center.

Cash prizes were awarded to Kannan and the two runner-ups, juniors Caitlin Chen and Sydney Lashbrook. Placing third overall, Lashbrook was rewarded with a $500; Chen, who placed second overall, was given a $750 prize. And finally, our new Miss SHS was awarded the whopping $1000 grand prize.

Beyond the cash prizes, several contestants said that they were motivated to compete by their love for the school.

“Seminole has done so much for me, and I just wanted to give back to it. That’s really why I wanted to be Miss SHS and why [I did] this contest,” said junior Anika Virmani, who participated with a Bollywood dance.

There are also other benefits to being Miss SHS; the title can strengthen college applications and lead to more scholarships. With the benefits also comes a responsibility to serve the school. Miss SHS is encouraged to participate in school functions and represents Seminole High School in PTSA events.

“There is the benefit of having bragging rights and acknowledgement in the yearbook, but it is important that who won wants to be involved and active in PTSA the next year,” said senior Amy Sheffield, 2017-2018 Miss SHS.

Each Miss SHS is empowered to help change our school for the better once they are crowned. From helping out around school to implementing new programs, Miss SHS is definitely more than just a title.

“As Miss SHS, I hope to implement a peer mentoring program that will forge friendships and empower students across the school,” said Kannan. “I’d like to create a forum for honest conversations about the unspoken challenges that students face, like societal pressures, family difficulties, and bullying.”

The event was finalized with Sheffield presenting the crown and passing on the title to Kannan.

“My advice to the next Miss SHS would be to dedicate herself and attend every PTSA meeting and to be proud of the title she has earned,” said Sheffield.

The following ladies competed at Miss SHS:

  • Richa Bhavsar– Bollywood Dance
  • Srinija Cherivirala– Singing
  • Juliana Bentley-Krest– Lyrical Dance
  • Caitlin Chen– Piano Solo
  • Divya Mehta– Bharatanatyam (Classical Indian Dance)
  • Malavika Kannan– Slam Poetry
  • Mariah Pilcher– Tap Dance
  • Sydney Lashbrook– Violin
  • Anika Virmani– Indian Dance
  • Grace Smith– Piano and Singing
  • Yashvi Vardhan– Bollywood Dance
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