Unlike last year, when it happened on the front steps of the school, the 2022 Portland Rose Festival Cleveland High (CHS) School Princess announcement program took place back inside the school's auditorium. It took place on Wednesday afternoon, March 16.
"I think each of our three Cleveland High candidates is representative of the strong academic and extracurricular programs we have here at our school," CHS Principal Jo Ann Wadkins told THE BEE in the moments before the brief program began. "I'm proud of all three of them!"
In the auditorium, after the Portland Rose Festival dignitaries and staff were recognized, 2021 Portland Rose Festival Cleveland High School Princess Rena Marthaler stepped up to the podium: "This year will be completely different from the years that preceded it!"
Turning to the candidates, she continued, "In the next few months our CHS Princess will be alongside of some incredible women; and, no matter what you get out of the Rose Court experience, you will remember it for the rest of your lives."
Following Princess Marthaler's remarks, the CHS Princess' Unitus Community Credit Union Mentor,Â Jessica Brown, gave each of the candidates a memento of the occasion.
Then, the "reveal": CHS junior Zinnia SirokmanÂ was announced as the Princess representing Warrior Spirit at this year's Rose Festival. "Who would have thought that a high school wrestler could become a Princess?" she exclaimed. Breathlesss with the excitement of the moment, told the assembly. "I'm so proud to be representing my school." The other two competitors will form her Court: Claire Yeates and Eliana Leone.
Speaking with THE BEE after the ceremony, Princess Zinnia remarked that, in addition to her wrestling, she was also was part of the school's track team, had competed in shot put, and is a Cheer captain. "I love this school, because Cleveland High strives to build community!" she said.
"I want to represent my community, and let them know that anyone could be a Princess," Princess Zinnia reflected. "You can do anything as long as you put your mind to it. If you're determined, you'll be able to do it and succeed!
She still has another year ahead of her, Princess Zinnia recognized, so her career plans may include becoming a special education teacher, or opening a daycare facility that caters to special needs children. And she added that she is also considering a career as a pastry chef.
Princess Zinnia plans to pursue higher education to earn a degree in whichever field she settles on. As a Princess, her education will be assisted by a $3,500 scholarship awarded by The Randall Group.
The next public appearance for Princess Zinnia will be on Saturday, June 10, at the 2022 Portland Rose Festival Queen's Coronation, held this year at Peninsula Park Rose Garden. For information about this year's Portland Rose Festival, visit their official website â€“ http://www.rosefestival.org
And, to watch Princess Zinnia be named this year's Cleveland Princess, here's a brief BEE video â€“ https://youtu.be/8xKI2oDCGSEÂ
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