Being inclusive of their fellow classmates and showing generosity were among the common threads of this year’s homecoming court, and for the king and queen: South Whidbey High School seniors Lewis Pope and Caroline Burns.
They received the honors under umbrellas during halftime at a rainy Friday night football game on Oct. 20.
“It’s always good to be friendly because there’s no point in being anything else,” Burns said after the ceremony.
The homecoming court also included Aengus Dubendorf, Nora Anastasi, Mikayla Hezel and Andrew Baesler. The senior class votes for the top six boys and girls, then the entire student body votes for the members of the Homecoming Court.
Burns and Pope, who are both members of Honor Society, were honored to have been selected by their classmates following the ceremony.
“It’s really cool to have the support of our class,” Burns said.
Pope thought his chances of winning were aided by the fact that he’s grown up in the community and has known many of his classmates for years.
“You grow up with them for such a long time,” Pope said. “I’ve known a lot of these guys since preschool or kindergarten.”
“It’s a little bit easier, because you know everybody. You’re friends with so many of your classmates, it makes it easy for everyone to be involved,” he added.
But, Burns said she was surprised to even make it on the homecoming court.
“I wasn’t expecting it, I guess,” Burns said.
Burns said the student body knows her as a singer and actress because of her involvement in the school’s Drama Club.
“I sing a lot in the school, so a lot of people know me just from singing and Drama Club,” Burns said.
Pope is one of the stars on South Whidbey’s boys basketball team. He will play basketball at Central Washington University next fall and is considering studying engineering. Burns plans to attend a four-year college.
“I’ll definitely miss the community that we’re in,” Burns said. “It’s just so close-knit.”
South Whidbey High School Principal John Patton said the court represents a diverse student body.
“It’s not just a popular kid, but you have all kinds of different interests,” Patton said.
Baesler was overjoyed to have been part of the Homecoming Court. Though he couldn’t say why his classmates voted for him, his outgoing personality and friendly demeanor were probably factors.
“I try everyday to be as nice as possible,” Baesler said. “It’s pretty easy to make someone’s day to be nice.”
Baesler is undecided on what he wants to do after high school, but is interested in pursuing humanitarian work.
Anastasi was also grateful to be voted onto the court and was bubbly following the ceremony.
“It was really flattering,” Anastasi said. “It kind of shows that people like you.”
For Hezel, it was a dream come true to be on the court.
“It was such an honor to be recognized by our school,” Hezel said. “Being a little girl, I always remembered watching homecoming at the football games. I was like, ‘One day, I wonder if I’ll be up there’ and here I am. So, it’s awesome.”
Hezel plans to attend a four-year college to become a teacher.