By Natalie Allen
The auditorium seats begin to fill, the voices of the crowd lower to a dull roar. Seniors take their seats under the burning light of the stage as principal Janie Whaley opens Class Night with congratulatory praise and best wishes of the future to come.
This past Wednesday seniors attended Class Night, in which students were awarded scholarships and recognized for various high school achievements. Among the prestigious awards given was the announcement of Mr. and Miss Floyd Central, which concluded the evening.
Senior Grant Vellinger, awarded Mr. Floyd Central, said he is very honored to have received such an honor knowing so many people qualified for the position.
“This award means so much to me. I know a lot of other people deserved it, so it’s humbling to me that I was chosen,” said Vellinger.
Senior Erin Patterson, Miss Floyd Central, said she was also very happy with being chosen for the award.
“It means a lot to even be considered for this award. I am still in shock I was chosen. I know there were many very qualified and deserving individuals whom were in the running for this honor, so it means a great deal to me to be even amongst them,” said Patterson.
Counselor Mark Clark explained the criteria for becoming Mr. and Miss Floyd Central, saying they have to have academic excellence and to simply be well-rounded.
“Basically, it is someone who has a very outgoing personality, someone that has done well academically, they don’t have to be the top of their class. They have to have a very good discipline record, must be involved in school activities; sports, performing arts, anything volunteer or community oriented. Also, things they do outside of the community are considered. They just have to be someone that kind of upholds good values and good character,” said Clark.
The Honors and Awards Committee selects the winners.
“Students are nominated based on who turns in a local scholarship application and then students are discussed and it’s kind of narrowed down to several candidates and then it’s voted on. It’s a secret ballot vote. That’s the longest thing that we do and it’s a huge discussion because there are so many good candidates that it comes down to very thin margins and it’s difficult sometimes,” said Clark.
With all of the discussion taken place to make this decision, Vellinger explained why he believed he qualified for the position.
“My academics, my extracurricular activities, my involvement with Dance Marathon, and just community service in general. I try to always be upbeat and positive,” said Vellinger.
Patterson had similar reasons as to why she believed she is qualified.
“I would say my extracurricular involvement was a huge part in my qualifications. I also take academics and responsibility very seriously as well,” said Patterson.
Clark believes Vellinger was a great candidate mainly because of his devotion and care to his school.
“I think Grant is a face that’s out there, not only in school and from an academic standpoint, but just his community involvement. I think it’s his personality, it’s his caring for FC. It shows that he loves his school and what he does do to help his school become a better school, and also maintaining his character and academics,” said Clark.
Clark said Patterson was a very ideal candidate and fits many of the traits as a typical Miss Floyd Central.
“She has that effervescent personality, always seems to have a smile on her face, very involved, very selfless. She gives her time outside of school, but also very active in school with Miles for Merry Miracles, tennis and all of things she has done. She just embodies really everything that I think the committee looks for,” said Clark.
As Patterson said before, she was taken by complete surprise that she had been chosen. She was amazed when she heard her name called and showed a lot of excitement.
“I was shocked. I would not have guessed it was me. My initial reaction my jaw dropped and then I could not stop smiling. The whole time I was still surprised it was me,” said Patterson.
Vellinger said this is a very rewarding achievement and it will be something he remembers forever.
“It will be something I can always look back on and be proud of and I think it will serve as an encouragement to me in the future to be the best person I can be,” said Vellinger.