It's hard to believe that it's time once again for Rose Festival princesses to be selected at high schools across the Portland metro area.
Though it still may be damp outside, those who've vied for a coveted spot on the Rose Court have been looking ahead to a warmer season for some time. Alexis Scamarone, Taya Wyatt and Maggie Beutler were the finalists for Wilson's princess crown.
At a ceremony after school in Wilson's auditorium on March 8 — International Women's Day — the Rose Festival Committee crowned Maggie Beutler as the third Rose Court princess for 2017.
"I was a little blown away," Beutler said of hearing her name announced. "I didn't know how to react. I think it reached the girls before it reached me."
Beutler is a senior at Wilson, where she's been on the Honor Roll since freshman year and is in the National Honor Society. Outside of class, she plays on Wilson's women's tennis team and is part of the Feminist Union and Asian Pacific Islanders Student Union. She was Mock Trial's most valuable player and also tutors elementary school students.
She says the last few months of preparation have been "overwhelming, but in a good way."
"It's been an interesting and dynamic ride," Beutler added. "I'm doing stuff that nobody else does."
She's excited to get started on her Rose Court duties.
"I'm looking forward to meeting the other (princesses) and getting thrown into everything," Beutler said. "It's such an amazing opportunity and it doesn't come around often, so I know I have to seize the moment as soon as I have it. I've waited so long to do something like this, so I'll spend every day putting my heart and soul into it."
Beutler has a broad set of passions she hopes to stoke at college in the coming years. She's interested in studying topics such as environmental science, law, photography and writing. Mostly, she hopes to find something that speaks to her heart.
"Success doesn't always stem from certain skills obtained in life, it stems from passion and what you love to do," she says.
Even though the hectic stress of running for the Rose Court is done, Beutler doesn't want to rest on her laurels.
"I'm not going to stop just because I won princess," she says. "I'm going to keep going because I know that every day, each moment is an honor and an opportunity to do better."
Even though only one could be named princess, the two other contenders for Wilson High's Rose Court crown gave it their all.
• Alexis Scamarone will be attending Oregon State University this fall —the first from her family to attend a four-year university. She has her sights set on becoming a doctor. She lifeguards and leads swimming lessons at the Southwest Community Center. When she's not at the pool, she's volunteering as a tutor or a peer mentor.
• Taya Wyatt is a junior at Wilson who impressed many with her decision to try out for the Rose Court in 11th grade. She is a trained volunteer with Multnomah County Search and Rescue. When she is on duty and the county gets a call, she'll help search for a missing person. She has played a number of sports, including lacrosse for nine years.