Marshall High picks their last Portland Rose Festival Princess

Hanging in the air was sadness that this Lents Neighborhood high school would never again participate in the Festival – but that went unmentioned. Learn the name of the selected young lady, and why she was picked to be her school’s final Portland Rose Festival ambassador …

The members of the 2011 Marshall Campus Portland Rose Festival Court, Maria Phan and Nadia Martinez, come on stage for their introduction.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Because Portland Public Schools is sticking to their plan to shut down the school in June, the real-but-unmentioned story at the March 18 announcement of the 2011 Marshall Campus Portland Rose Festival Princess at this Lents Neighborhood school was – that it would be its last.

Although its student body has recently dwindled, two Marshall Campus students met the rigorous requirements set up by the Portland Rose Festival Foundation to run for the honor of representing their school.

“It’s a scholarship program, not a ‘beauty pageant’ or popularity contest,” explained Rich Jarvis of the Portland Rose Festival Foundation. “To be accepted as a member of any school’s court, the student must have at least a 3.0 grade average, be a community volunteer – those efforts are verified by the organization they help – and also they must have taken an active leadership role in student clubs and activities.”

Debbie Guerra, the Pacific Power mentor who will guide Marshall High’s Princess, gives the court members a memento acknowledging the achievements that led to their nomination to the court.

Of the 130 young ladies who have applied in the region, Jarvis pointed out, every one of them meets – and most exceed – the criteria. All of the princesses get coaching in personal presentation, etiquette, and public speaking – all valuable skills when they move on into the business world.

At Marshall High, Maria Phan and Nadia Martinez “made the grade” – and both walked onstage wearing beautiful full-length gowns.

The school’s outgoing 2010 Princess, Yuliyana Kobel, greets family, students, and staff before this year’s announcement.

Marshall High’s 2010 Princess, Yuliyana Kobel, told the group how much she enjoyed representing her school. She told the audience and the candidates about the wonderful experiences she had traveling across Oregon and participating in Portland Rose Festival activities.

“It’s been a wonderful experience I’ll remember all my life,” Kobel said, as she opened the sealed envelope.

Nadia Martinez smiles as she learns she’ll represent Marshall High as the school’s final Portland Rose Festival Princess.

Marshall High’s 2010 Princess, Yuliyana Kobel, places her tiara on the head of Nadia Martinez.

Making her first public statement, 2011 Marshall High Portland Rose Festival Princess Nadia stepped to the microphone and said, “I want to thank everyone who worked with me, especially my parents, the Rose Festival Association, and everyone at Marshall High School. I’m really glad to be the Princess for Marshall High School.”

In her first official interview as Princess Nadia, the 18-year-old senior told us she has a deep appreciation for her teachers, classmates, and school. “So this really is a great honor, especially because I’ve gone here all four years and this is my last year. I’ve grown a lot at here at the school.”

Specifically, Princess Nadia said, “I used to be a follower; I’ve become more of a leadership person. I’ve set goals for myself – high standard goals – and achieved them every time. My teachers, especially during my senior year, really pushed me to get all of my college preparation done, and get ready for further education.”

2011 Marshall Campus Portland Rose Festival Princess Nadia Martinez poses with court member Maria Phan.

About being Marshall High’s last princess, she commented, “I want to tell everyone how I’ve learned to become a more dedicated person here. It’s part of our school – everyone here is dedicated to learning.”

Unlike other Portland Rose Festival princesses we’ve interviewed, Princess Nadia was very clear about which event to which she most looked forward. “It’s the Starlight Parade. It’s a great time because it’s fun, and because it’s always brought my family closer together.”

After school, Princess Nadia plans to attend a four-year school to obtain her Bachelors of Science degree, and then pursue a career in either pediatrics or criminal investigation. Her dreams are now a bit more within reach, thanks to the $3,500 scholarship she received, courtesy of The Randall Group.

Meet 2011 Marshall Campus Portland Rose Festival Princess, Nadia Martinez.

Asked about this being the last such event at his school, Fred Locke, Principal of Renaissance Arts Academy at Marshall Campus, told us, “Yes, it is a bittersweet moment.”

But, Locke said the moment was really about the accomplishments of their school’s Portland Rose Festival representative. “I could not be more proud of Nadia. She is a tremendous learner in the classroom, very driven to do her best in each and every class.  She’s taking Senior Inquiry through Portland State University, advanced math classes; and as a scholar athlete, varsity soccer for two years or more, and competitive cheerleader for all four years. She’s a tremendously strong all-around student, and I’m very proud of her.”

Plan now to root for Princess Nadia, and our other outer East Portland 2011 Portland Rose Festival  Princesses, at the Queen’s Coronation inside Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Saturday, June 11. Tickets are now available from the Portland Rose Festival’s website: CLICK HERE to learn more.

© 2011 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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