Megan McBarron will be the first White River High School student to represent the school and community as a Daffodil Princess.
She was selected to represent White River High at the 2012 Daffodil Festival Nov. 9. She was escorted that evening by Kyle Durrant. McBarron presented a speech on the 2012 Daffodil Festival theme “Don’t Stop Believing” and answered an impromptu question.
According to White River High DECA President Ryan Roulier Jr., the club’s production of a float for the 2011 parade was instrumental in securing a princess. The float was small by Daffodil Parade standards, but entering it in the 2011 Daffodil Parade made it possible for White River to become a part of the Daffodil Royalty Program.
White River School Board member and 2012 Daffodil President Susan McGuire presented McBarron with her tiara.
McBarron will compete with other Princesses at the Queen’s Coronation March 16 at Life Center in Tacoma.
The Queen’s Coronation is a celebration for the young women of the Royal Court. That evening, a queen is selected to reign over festival activities that take place throughout the year.
The queen and her court are the official ambassadors of the festival. The nearly two dozen young women participating in the royalty program are selected by their schools and communities to represent the Daffodil Festival and Pierce County as the festival travels throughout the Pacific Northwest. They not only vie for the title of queen, but also for scholarships provided by the Daffodil Scholarship Foundation.
During the coronation program, princesses are judged on their academic standing, personality, attitude, speaking ability, appearance, sociability, content of their speech, festival awareness and impromptu speaking.
Through the years, the program has evolved, McGuire said. The duties of the Royal Court have expanded to include community service projects and personal development.
DECA program made the princess program possible
Daffodil Princess Megan McBarron has White River High School DECA to thank for her historical premier.
For years, the White River was the only school district in Pierce County that has never had a Daffodil Princess. In order to have a princess, a high school must enter a self-propelled float in the Daffodil Grand Floral Parade with a minimum of 2,000 daffodils.
This spring, it happened.
Leaders decided the school district would no longer be left out of the scholarship opportunity and other benefits of being part of the Royal Court brings.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for a young woman,” said 2012 Daffodil President Susan McGuire, a White River School Board member who has been trying to get her district involved for the past 12 years. She said last year, the Daffodil Scholarship Foundation awarded $53,000 in scholarships to the 23 girls who were members of the Royal Court. Members of the Royal Court also act as leadership ambassadors for Pierce County, visiting 20 to 25 festivals around the state, as well as participating in experiences that lead to personal growth and service before self.
DECA accepted the challenge and put together a small float, propelled by one of the school’s golf carts, a creative entry that met the 2011 parade theme “Spirit of Adventure.” The WRHS float was based on the movie “Up!” – Up with WRSD!
The house on wheels cruised through parade routes in Tacoma, Puyallup and Sumner and, spurred by the response, the WRHS band and cheerleaders continued by adding the Orting parade at the end of the day.
It was a huge undertaking with plenty of folks contributing like Marci Tidwell, chaperone, Rhonda Orndorff, artistic director, Jeanette Schuster, who procured materials, Colby Herrington, Matt Holznagel and Terry Veltkamp, who constructed the skeleton of the float, Susan McGuire, who donated the 2,000 daffodils, Chris Gibson and Arrow Lumber, who contributed the golf cart, Madelin Grimm and Jessica Tidwell who designed costumes and Jennifer Gormley, who served as assistant art director.
The float’s construction also took a lot of work from Nate Armstrong, Clayton Holm, Trevor Kurtz, Amethyst Loccinole, Reagan Ledbetter, Nick Nelson, Ryan Roulier, CJ Schierling and Brooke Ulrich.
Nick Nelson, Micaela Gomez, Tidwell, Grimm, Tyler Ousely, and Alyssa Wagner marched in the parade.