Introducing the new Mr. and Miss Pasadena High School
A new Mr. and Miss Pasadena High School were crowned at the 57th annual Emerald Pageant on Dec. 14.
Each of the winners received a crown, roses and a $200 scholarship at the event, which raised about $1,000 for the school’s upcoming prom, said producer Elizabeth Meza.
Brayan Zelaya, who is the son of Isis Medina, won the boys’ title over eight fellow contestants. He was crowned by the 2018 PHS homecoming king, Edgar Juarez.
The girls’ winner, from a field of 10 contestants, was Charlize Altedill Lores, the daughter of Marley Rodriguez Lores and Juan Carlos Altedill. The winner was crowned by 2018 PHS homecoming queen Brianna Guzman.
“I love these kids,” said Meza, an Algebra I teacher who has served as an adviser, along with chef Santos Macias, the PHS culinary arts teacher, since the students were freshmen.
“They started the same year that I started teaching at this school. I have grown with them,” Meza said.
Zelaya is a student in PHS’s Advancement Via Individual Determination program and was sponsored by AVID teacher Carmen Solis. He is part of the YMCA Achievers and Leaders Club, College Ambassadors, the art club and Communities in School. Outside of school, he works five days a week.
“My second job is to make sure my mom’s lunch is packed and ready before work,” said Zelaya, who hopes to earn a doctorate in psychology and open an orphanage.
Altedill Lores is part of the National Honor Society, National Hispanics Honor Society and National Art Honor Society. She played basketball and volleyball her freshman and sophomore years.
Sponsored by calculus teacher Keesha Bruce, Altedill Lores plans to attend Texas A&M University and study veterinary medicine.
The pageant in the PHS auditorium began when the curtain rose on all 19 contestants, dressed in formal wear, standing onstage, then introducing themselves to the audience and five judges.
The top five boys and top five girls were announced, with each answering a question from the hosts.
Their poise in answering their questions helped determine the top three, who were required to answer an additional question.
Zelaya’s first runner-up and winner of a $100 scholarship was Ulises Reyes, described as one of the most spirited students at PHS when it comes to pep rallies and football and volleyball games. He plans to join the U.S. Marines.
Second place among girls was class president Cindy Munoz, who also received a $100 scholarship. She is co-editor in chief of the school yearbook, historian for the National Honor Society and a member of the National Hispanic Honor Society. She plans to double major in public communications and government at the University of Texas and run for political office.
The second runners-up, Pedro Gonzalez and Lexie Maher, were awarded roses.
Judges for the event were Laura Caplen, a special education teacher at Pasadena Memorial High; pastor Rudy Torres, who was second runner-up in the 2003 Emerald Pageant; Roland Villareal, a 2003 graduate of PHS; Cirilo Ojeda, a former PHS Eagles quarterback who now serves as offensive coordinator at Clear Springs High; and Andrea Nguyen, a boat refugee who escaped Vietnam. In 1996-97, her senior year at PHS, Nguyen won the Emerald Pageant, was voted “most likely to succeed” and placed in the top 10 percent academically.
Don Maines is a freelance writer who can be reached at email@example.com