by: DAVID F. ASHTON - 2014 Portland Rose Festival Franklin High Princess Isabella Rigelman is seated, flanked by candidates Meggie Kirchner and Elana Wilson.During a special all-school assembly on March 17th, Franklin High School (FHS) student singers and actors and dancers lit up the stage with top-notch performances.

Undoubtedly, though, the highlight of the program was the announcement of who was selected to represent the Quakers as their 2014 Portland Rose Festival Princess.

Near the beginning of the program, FHS Portland Rose Festival candidates Meggie Kirchner, Elona Wilson, and Isabella Rigelman, were introduced to the audience and then walked back to the wings.

Then the FHS Performing Arts Department entertained the student body and guests with solo musical and dance performances. The entertainment segment ended with a spectacular full-stage ensemble dance piece, colorfully-yet-poignantly portraying love on a Paris street.

The audience enthusiastically welcomed their 2013 Portland Rose Festival Franklin High Princess, Alexandra Martinez, back to the stage. She told how she’d discovered horseback riding skills she didn't know that she possessed during her year representing the Quakers.

“All of this year’s candidates are very accomplished,” remarked Martinez, turning to whom she added, “None of your many achievements will mean any less than those of the candidate who has been selected. I hope you will remember this every day; life is too short to think otherwise.

“I thank everyone at Franklin,” Martinez concluded. “It means everything to me.”

In her last act as Franklin’s Princess, Martinez walked behind this year’s candidates, and with a flourish placed the tiara on Isabella Rigelman’s head.

Fighting back tears, the newly-crowned Franklin High Princess, Isabella Rigelman, stepped up and simply said, “Thank you all, very much.”

After the program, Princess Isabella Rigelman told THE BEE that applying to become a member of the Portland Rose Festival Court had been her mother’s suggestion.

“I decided to try, thinking that it could be a cool experience. If I didn’t make it through that process, no harm done; but if I did, then – cool – I would get to continue!

“I was happy to be one of the selected candidates,” said Princess Isabella. “The in-person judging was a fun experience. But then, giving my speech in front of the school was even more fun!”

She’s looking forward to representing the Quakers because, “Franklin High has done so much for me. I’ve grown into being a different, better person.”

Princess Isabella added that she looks forward to working with her Pacific Power mentor, Renee Halpern, as she represents her school.

The 17-year-old FHS junior participates in their Advanced Scholars Program, National Honors Society, MESA, and was a Junior Varsity soccer team captain for two years. She also has run Track and Cross Country.

The $3,500 scholarship awarded her by The Randall Group will help Princess Isabella Rigelman with her plans to attend college to train as a Biomedical Engineer, with a minor in Kinesiology.

Will 2014 Portland Rose Festival Franklin High Princess Isabella Rigelman be crowned the 100th Portland Rose Festival “Queen of Rosaria”? Find out on Saturday, June 7, when the selection of this year’s Rose Festival Queen’s Coronation gets underway at 8 am in Portland Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum, just before the Grand Floral Parade begins.

For details, go to the official Portland Rose Festival website:

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