The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022

7 girls compete to be Queen Jubilee XLII

VW independent/submitted information

The 2018 Van Wert Peony Pageant will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, April 6, in the Marsh Foundation Auditorium. Queen Jubilee XLIII will be crowned that evening and begin her reign over the Peony Festival.

2018 Peony queen candidates are (clockwise, from top left) Lainie Jones, Tabitha Howell, Alisa Elliott, Madison Pugh, Sarah Zalar, Gabrielle Emerick, and Abigail English. photos provided

Pageant candidates have the special honor of already representing their schools and community by being selected to take part in the pageant. Each year, the Peony Festival Pageant Committee sends area schools in Van Wert, Paulding, Mercer, Allen, and Putnam counties applications to submit one senior candidate to represent their school in the pageant.

Every school’s selection process is different, but all candidate selections are made by the area schools. Once all candidates have been submitted to the Pageant Committee, the candidates are scored on a preliminary essay and preliminary interview conducted by a panel of three judges. Additionally, they are scored by a separate panel of four judges the night of the pageant on poise and presentation, a talent selection, and an onstage question-and-answer session. All scoring is confidential and maintained by Pageant Auditor Rick Sealscott, CPA.

Candidates are also competing for a scholarship paid directly to the college of their choice. Scholarships include the Queen Scholarship of $1,200, first runner-up scholarship of $800, second runner-up scholarship of $600, talent winner scholarship of $400, Miss Congeniality scholarship of $250, and Most Photogenic scholarship of $100 (sponsored by pageant photographer Studio Ayla).

Tickets for the pageant may be purchased at Touches of Time Antiques, 120 S. Washington St. in Van Wert.  Remaining tickets will be on sale at the door the night of the pageant.

Candidates competing for the title this year include the following:

Gabrielle Emerick, representing Crestview High School, is the daughter of Greg and Madeline Emerick.  She has an older sister, Courtney. She is a member of Knight Vision Show Choir, Marching Band, Pep Band, and Concert Band. She is also a member of the KEY program and Students Empowering Students.

She enjoys singing all over the community and is the music director for Whitehorse Biker Church. She enjoys singing, playing the piano and trumpet, and spending time with her niece. After high school, she plans to attend Bowling Green State University with a double major in music education and music theatre.

She says she wanted to participate in the Peony Pageant because she wanted to empower other young girls to follow their dreams.

Sara Zalar, representing Delphos Jefferson High School, is the daughter of Dave Zalar and Amy Zalar. She has a younger brother, Brady.

Zalar is a member of National Honor Society and the Junior Optimist Club. She is vice president of FCCLA and the videographer for the FBLA Business Leadership Group. She is vice president of the choir, is a member of the show choir, and has been involved in school musicals. She is also on the school yearbook committee and helps with school media.

Zalar volunteers with community businesses and has helped with downtown clean-up and Revamp Delphos efforts. She also volunteers with younger students at Franklin Elementary School in Delphos and is employed at Vancrest Health Care Center in Delphos.

In her spare time, she enjoys taking pictures and videos for her YouTube channel and likes DIY projects and sewing, which she learned from her grandmother. She also enjoys traveling and has a goal to visit every state.

After graduation, she plans on attending Rhodes State College in Lima to be a dental hygienist and would like to be a traveling dental assistant.

When asked why she wanted to be in the Peony Pageant she answered that she wants to help everyone else. She feels that the world is changing a lot and that it is good for girls and boys to have a good role model and someone to look up to.

Lainie Jones, representing Lincolnview High School, is the daughter of Ed and Teresa Jones and has an older sister, Madison. She is president of the Drama Club and is senior class secretary. She is a member of the bowling team and a choir officer.

She was crowned Lincolnview’s homecoming queen this year and was selected as a contestant in “Ohio Has Talent!”.

In her spare time, she enjoys singing, taking singing lessons, and spending time with her family. After graduation, she plans to attend Bowling Green State University and major in English and plans to be a book editor.

She is in the Peony Pageant because she feels that it is a chance to be a great role model for younger girls. It is also a wonderful opportunity to meet new friends and community members.

Abigail English, representing Paulding High School, is the daughter of Richard and Cynthia English.

She is on the volleyball team and softball team and is also involved in drama and was in the school’s production of The Wizard of Oz.

She is a member of the Defiance Church of the Nazarene and is in the youth group there. She enjoys singing, reading, and writing.

After graduation, she would like study nursing to become a Registered Nurse and then pursue being a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.

She decided to participate in the Peony Pageant because she feels that it will be a great way to make new friends and be a part of something important. She feels that it would be an honor to be crowned queen.

Madison Pugh, representing Spencerville High School, is the daughter of Eric and Jennifer Pugh and has a brother, Isaiah.

She is president of Student Council, is a member of National Honor Society, and participates in the Industrial Tech Club. She is on the Spencerville softball and soccer teams and is also a member of the Pep, Jazz, and Marching bands. She performs with the show choir and was in school musicals.

She is also involved with 4-H and has been a camp counselor, a member of the Exchange Club, and on the Fashion Board. She has volunteered as a YFW clown, has completed a service project with the Allen County Educational Service Center, and also helps with Vacation Bible School.

In her spare time, she enjoys reading, writing, and sewing.

After graduation, she plans to attend the United States Coast Guard Academy and major in mechanical engineering.

She said she wanted to be in the Peony Pageant because she wants to be able to give back to all of the people who have helped her over the years. She would like to show all of the hard work that she has put in to being the best person that she can be and feels that it is an honor to represent her school and community.  She has been to many pageants over the years and has always loved it.

Tabitha Howell, representing Van Wert High School, is the daughter of Bob and Deborah Howell. She has two siblings, Autumn and Noah.

She is a member of the choir and Select Choir and plays the bass drum in the band. She attends LifeHouse Church, where she is a volunteer teacher. She is a member of the Kim Hohman DanceWorks Competition Dance Team and also takes voice lessons.

In her spare time, she enjoys singing, acting, and dancing. She also likes to learn different languages and is interested in learning Japanese, Korean, Gaelic, and Irish.

After high school, she plans to spend some time in South Korea and London, and wants to travel and pursue either a singing career or be a language translator.

She wanted to be in the Peony Pageant because she has always been into girly things and wants to be a princess in the pageant. She is very excited to have this new experience.

Alisa Elliott, representing Wayne Trace, is the daughter of Sam Elliott and Tandy Bowman. She has a brother, Mason Elliott.

She is a member of the World Cuisine Club, Meditation Club, and Art Club. She is also in football cheer.  She has participated in church mission trips, including one to Grand Rapids, Michigan. She also has volunteered at church camp in Zanesville.

In her spare time, she enjoys drawing and painting and also likes to play the piano and do photography.

After high school, she plans to pursue an associate’s degree in art with a minor in hospitality.

She wanted to participate in the Peony Pageant because she knew that she would be going away after college and wanted to use this opportunity to be involved in the community and meet some new people.

POSTED: 03/31/18 at 8:29 am. FILED UNDER: News