by: DAVID F. ASHTON - 2013 Portland Rose Festival Franklin Princess Alexandra Martinez! At an all-school assembly at Franklin High School, on the morning of March 18, students got a first look at their Theater Department’s upcoming musical, and also saw their 2013 Portland Rose Festival Princess crowned.

The program included recognition of Portland Rose Festival Foundation dignitaries, the announcement of the Class Poster Contest winners, and a musical interlude.

From behind the stage curtain, Franklin Court candidates Aimei Liu, Jenny Zhu, Alexandra Martinez, and Xylia Guzman-Torres came out to greet the audience, and were met with cheers and applause.

Last year’s Franklin High Princess Alexis Phillips told the lively spectators, “This has been wonderful life experience.” She turned to the court and added, “Go out there and have a lot of fun!”

As is the custom, the person who will become the mentor to the school’s Princess, Renee Halpren of Pacific Power, was on hand to present gifts to the four candidates.

After thunderous applause followed musical production numbers from the school’s upcoming April musical, “The Wizard of Oz”, the audience quieted, waiting to learn which of the four candidates would represent the Quakers at the citywide celebration – and she was introduced as Alexandra Martinez.

Afterward, Princess Alexandra revealed that she was graduating from Franklin in only three years. “I did it by taking all the classes I could, and working hard,” Princess Alexandra said. “And, I had the support of my family, who encouraged and helped me.”

It seems the Martinez family has high expectation for all their kids; her sister, Charmaine, was named Class Valedictorian last year.

Because she wants to study veterinary medicine at Oregon State, Princess Alexandra said she had discovered the scholarship program associated with the Portland Rose Festival – which includes $3,500 provided by The Randall Group.

“And, I decided that I wanted to give back to the community that has helped me so much to get where I am today,” she said.

During her reign as Franklin’s Princess, she confided to THE BEE, she plans to communicate an inspirational message: “No matter what you go through, you can do great things.”

Princess Alexandra said she looks forward to participating in her all-time favorite Portland Rose Festival event, the Fireworks Spectacular. “But I also really like the Starlight Parade and Grand Floral Parade. It's awesome that I'll be able to participate in all of them now.

“Seeing these events from ‘the inside’ will be amazing,” she added. “Every time I’ve seen the Queen and Princesses in the parades, I’ve always really admired them. I think that's going to be really fun.”

This Honor Roll student, who lives with her family in the Foster-Powell neighborhood, has participated in school plays and musicals, has sung, and plays the violin, guitar, and piano.

The 2013 Portland Rose Festival Queen will be selected from among the Princesses at the Queen’s Coronation on Saturday, June 8, at 9:30 am, in Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum, just before the start of the Grand Floral Parade.

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