Fest queen crowned

Published 10:48 pm Friday, September 30, 2016

Casey Williams, a Nansemond River High School senior, said on Thursday that the definition of success is “when someone achieves a goal they have set for themselves.”

Winning the title of Peanut Festival Queen was never a goal Williams set for herself, but it happened anyway on Thursday at the Hilton Garden Inn during the annual Pilot Club of Suffolk Queen’s Banquet.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Williams said. “I was so in shock.”

Email newsletter signup

The Queen’s Banquet, which is a fundraiser for the Pilot Club and has become a hallmark pre-festival event, has changed in format over the past few years. In a new twist this year, the young ladies — two from each of the five high schools in the city — had to answer questions on stage. Their answer, poise and public speaking ability earned them 20 percent of their score. The other 80 percent was judged in blind readings of an essay and their academic achievements, extracurricular activities and community service.

Williams got a question about her definition of success. That’s when she gave the answer, “When someone achieves a goal they have set for themselves.”

Vivian Waddell, of Suffolk Christian Academy drew a question asking her to name qualities of an influential leader. She chose being honest, kind and a people person.

Nicky Pond, of Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, was asked who she would choose if she could meet anyone from history. She said she would want to meet Theodore Roosevelt, because he was a president who was especially influential on conservation.

Caitlyn Hannah, of Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, named the accomplishment she is most proud of as her membership in the National Honor Society.

“Academics have been a huge part of my life all throughout school,” she said. “It takes a lot of hard work. I feel like that is a huge accomplishment in my life.”

Cheyenne Schmack, of Lakeland High School, said her favorite thing to do at Peanut Fest is to ride the Ferris wheel.

“I love stopping right at the top and taking in everything at the fest,” she said. “It’s just a breathtaking view from up there.”

Savannah Miller, of Nansemond River High School, was asked which of her extracurricular activities she considers most important. She chose the Beta Club.

“It’s really rewarding to be part of such an influential club,” she said, noting the community service the club does.

Drew Phillips, of King’s Fork High School, was asked what goal she is currently trying to accomplish.

“My goal I’m trying to accomplish is to be happy and finish strong in school,” she said.

Brianna Ramos, of Lakeland High School, responded with three adjectives she feels describe her. She chose hardworking, intelligent and funny.

Caitlyn Delosreyes, of King’s Fork High School, was asked about a time she overcame defeat. She recalled her first pageant, where she placed 19th out of 120.

“At first I felt down,” she said. “But then I realized that I really did do my best. I realized I couldn’t be any more proud of myself.”

Suffolk Christian Academy representative Grace Fowler was unable to attend Thursday’s event.

A fun part of the pageant that wasn’t scored featured the young ladies showing off clothing that meant something to them. Some chose their cheerleader or track uniform, their volunteer uniform or their favorite color, among others.

Read more about the 10 young ladies in our special Peanut Fest section, which publishes next week.