Annual celebration of spring to be held Friday at 7 p.m.

In Wilsonville, the return of the robins and the beautiful flowering trees and plants everywhere are harbingers of spring.

For many in the community, however, the season hasn’t truly arrived until the community gathers at Wilsonville High School to celebrate another Springfest. This year, the annual event will be held April 11, starting at 7 p.m. by: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JAIME VALDEZ - Springfest Court members have been meeting regularly at the school to practice. Back row: Andrew Fairrington, Brendan Tonkin, Alex Tomlinson, Michael Town, Levi Rule, Jason Kummerman, John Hodson and Austin Miller. Front row: Carolina Ramirez Islas, Kylie Whittaker, Annika Oetken, Justine Cohen, Paige Peterson, Rachel Hawkins, Madison Rasmussen and Jessica Small.

For weeks now, 16 members of the class of 2014 have been attending early morning rehearsals to learn complicated dances to entertain attendees. Community members now are invited to attend Springfest and watch court members as they are joined by schoolmates to share their talents in individual and group acts.

Springfest adviser BJ Cerny says the public is encouraged to attend and enjoy the evening’s festivities.

“Springfest is a time when Wilsonville High School and the community come together for a night of entertainment that has a little something for everyone in the whole family to enjoy,” she said. “It’s been a tradition since the school opened in 1995, and one we will look forward to for many years to come.”

by: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JAIME VALDEZ - Each student on the court practices the official bow required of the eventual queen and king. Their names will be revealed during the event Friday night. Here, Madison Rasmussen and Alex Tomlinson practice. Two of the 16 seniors from the court will be chosen as Springfest King and Queen. That pair will serve in the same roles at the school’s formal prom the next evening.

Each of the eight princes and eight princesses took the time to share with the Spokesman a little about being on Springfest court means to them and why they think Springfest matters to the city of Wilsonville.

CohenPrincess Justine Cohen

Justine Cohen has wanted to be a part of the Springfest Court ever since she was a kindergartner at Boeckman Creek Primary School.

“The day the court was announced was so special to me,” she said. “It was amazing to find out I had been selected to represent my senior class.” Even better, she said, was that some close friends had made it too. “The court is composed of people I’ve known my entire life, which makes this whole experience more memorable and, in a way, bittersweet,” she said.

The best part about rehearsals has been all the laughter, she said. “As a court, we all get along so well and are very lighthearted and fun. We’re all having a really great time working together.” Springfest is as much for the community as it is for the school, she said.

HawkinsPrincess Rachel Hawkins

Springfest is an important Wilsonville tradition for Rachel Hawkins. “It lets 16 senior representatives finish out the year together,” she said. “And it gives us a chance to recognize our staff and student body.”

Favorite Springfest rehearsal memories include the staring contests she has had with her dance partner during the slow dance. She vividly remembers the time one of the princes was supposed to stand as king during a rehearsal. “He completely forgot,” she said.

OetkenPrincess Annika Oetken

The best part of Springfest rehearsals, for Annika Oetken, has been how silly the court can be.

“We have fun with our mistakes,” she said, “because, let’s be honest, most of us have no clue how to dance.”

Learning the dance moves has been the best part of Springfest rehearsals for her.

“The court represents Wilsonville very well,” she said. “This year we have a very diverse group of girls and guys who represent each aspect of Wilsonville.”

Princess Paige Peterson

Paige Peterson’s favorite aspect of being on the Springfest court is spending time with the other court members.

Peterson“I have known every single person since middle school, if not elementary school,” she said. “It’s just so cool that we’ve taken this journey together and will end the same journey together at Springfest.”

The day the princesses received their tiaras is one favorite memory among many.

“That was the moment that made this experience feel real,” she said. “I knew at that moment that I was a Springfest Princess, and I felt so honored.”

Springfest is an important community tradition, she added.

“It’s not only an opening ceremony for prom, but it’s truly a culmination of that school year,” he said. “It celebrates every facet of our school and it gives so many people a chance to be recognized.”

Ramirez IslasPrincess Carolina Ramirez Islas

For Princess Carolina Ramirez Islas, dancing is the best thing about being on Springfest court.

“I’m the person who can’t stand still,” she said. “And being able to have fun with my peers in the morning gets me in a good mood and less jittery throughout the day.”

Learning to bow was another matter though — and a favorite memory.

“The faces were pained and the struggle was hilariously real,” she said.

Springfest, Ramirez-Islas added, is a great event for a tight-knit community like Wilsonville, she said.

“The tradition expands further from Wilsonville High School’s hallways and classrooms,” she said.

RasmussenPrincess Madison Rasmussen

The 2014 Springfest court comprises a fun and eclectic group, according to Madison Rasmussen.

“We have kids in drama, choir, sports, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and National Honor Society,” she said. “It’s been such a unique and fun opportunity for us to get together and truly represent our school as a whole.”

Her favorite memories involve the growth court members have shown during rehearsals.

“Looking back on the first week, when we were all stumbling over the waltz, and seeing how far we’ve come has been really exciting and rewarding,” she said.

Springfest, Rasmussen emphasized, is an important WHS tradition because it celebrates another successful school year.

“It gives our school and our community an opportunity to showcase the diverse talents our students have,” she said.

Princess Jessica Small

Jessica Small was unable to single out one memory as a favorite of her time serving on Springfest court.

“I don’t really have (one) single great memory,” she said. “I’ve just loved being a part of this great tradition at Wilsonville High School.”

Near the top of her list of favorites, though, has been simply spending time with friends. “And having fun attempting to dance,” she added.

For her, Springfest isn’t just another high school event.

“The whole community comes out to watch and celebrate the talents of Wilsonville students,” she said.

Princess Kylie Whittaker

WhittakerShe may not be a true morning person, but getting up and ready for early morning practices has been worth it for Kylie Whittaker.

“It’s always fun and motivating to see everyone’s smiling faces and amazing dance moves,” she said.

One of her favorite memories of her time on the court also was the day the princesses’ tiaras arrived.

“All the princesses were thrilled to wear them that day,” she said. “It was especially funny to me because my partner insisted on having a practice run where he could wear my tiara.”

She added that Springfest serves to bring together the city and the school communities.

“Springfest provides a great opportunity to celebrate school spirit,” she said, “and to represent our connection to our community.”

FairringtonPrince Andrew Farrington

The best part of serving on Springfest court, for Andrew Farrington, has been the early morning rehearsals.

He has enjoyed “starting the day with something fun,” he said.

His favorite memories involve learning the dances and hanging out with the other court members in the morning.

Springfest is an important tradition for both the city and the school, he said.

“It gives students an opportunity to showcase their talents,” he said, “and the entire community comes out to watch.”

Prince John Hodson

HodsonJohn Hodson had two responses when asked to describe the best part of Springfest rehearsals.

“Enjoying the experience with a group of people I have know for a number of years,” he said. “And getting yelled at by (staff coordinator BJ Cerny) for always messing up the dance moves.”

His favorite memories involve seeing the improvement court members made over time as they practiced — and seeing all the practice pay off in time for the event.

Community members should attend Springfest, he said. “It’s a great way to bring the community together and showcase the variety of talented students at Wilsonville High School.”

Prince Jason Kummerman

KummermanServing on the Springfest court marks the beginning of the end of high school for Jason Kummerman. The highlight of the experience, for him, has been “seeing a group of friends that I’ve known for years and sharing ‘one last dance’ before we all go our separate ways after graduation,” he said. Favorite memories involve having fun with his partner during rehearsals.

Springfest, he feels, is a night to celebrate student talent and showcase it for the community.

“It shows off the best of Wilsonville High School,” he said.

MillerPrince Austin Miller

For Austin Miller, rehearsals have been the best part of Springfest so far. “Learning each part of the dances” has been the best part so far. Being admitted to the court is his favorite memory. He also believes in the importance of maintaining the Springfest tradition.

“It brings together lots of different groups,” he said.

RulePrince Levi Rule

“The best part about Springfest rehearsals is getting to get up each morning and do stuff with people I’ve known for practically my whole life,” Levi Rule said.

For Rule, the best part of those rehearsals has been learning the dances.

“My favorite memory would be when we finally got to bring in our shades and suit jackets to practice the fast song,” he said.

Springfest is an important tradition at the school, especially for the seniors, he added. “It’s a final showing (for) us representatives of the senior class to say goodbye and give our appreciation for everyone who helped us through,” he said.

TomlinsonPrince Alex Tomlinson

Getting to the school at 7:30 a.m. is the best part of Springfest rehearsals for Prince Alex Tomlinson.

“I just love getting up early,” he said.

His favorite memories involve watching a fellow prince learning a dance move called running man. He then used three words to explain why Springfest is an important tradition at Wilsonville High School: “Spirit. Pride. Bond.”

TonkinPrince Brendan Tonkin

Early morning rehearsals for Springfest didn’t bother Brendan Tonkin, as long as one precondition was met.

“When you have enough coffee before, it’s pretty good,” he said.

Tonkin’s favorite memory involves a special song.

“I still had hope that ‘I Swear’ could be the slow song,” he said.

Springfest adds something special to prom season and spring in general, he said.

“It recognizes those who put themselves out there more. I think that’s important.”

Prince Michael Town

TownLearning a dance with classmates has been the best part of being on the Springfest court for Michael Town.

A favorite memory for him involves watching the princesses argue about their dress color choices.

Springfest is an important tradition at Wilsonville High School, concluded, because it allows seniors the chance to represent their school before they graduate.

by: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JAIME VALDEZ - Members of the court, including Justine Cohen, center, learn to bust out some moves for their fast dance.


When: 7 p.m. Friday, April 11

Where: Wilsonville High School, 8200 SW Wilsonville Road

Who: This free annual event is open to the public

Court members

Princesses: Justine Cohen, Rachel Hawkins, Annika Oetken, Paige Peterson, Carolina Ramirez Islas, Madison Rasmussen, Jessica Small and Kylie Whittaker.

Princes: Andrew Fairrington, John Hodson, Jason Kummerman, Austin Miller, Levi Rule, Alex Tomlinson, Brendan Tonkin and Michael Town. 

Group talent acts

Performances by school groups including symphonic and bands, percussion ensemble, concert choir, Soul'd Out, symphonic choir, Pride dance team and the Springfest court

Individual talent acts

9 solo or small groups, including dance, rock, vocal and electric violin performances

Details:, 503-673-7600

by: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JAIME VALDEZ - Andrew Fairrington & Carolina Ramirez Islas perfect the twirl during an early morning practice of the court dance.

By Kate Hoots
Education reporter
503-636-1281, ext. 112
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Follow us on Twitter
Visit Us on Facebook

Contract Publishing

Go to top
Template by JoomlaShine