On Friday, Jan. 9, McNicholas High School announced the court for its 63rd annual Mardi Gras Pageant and Ball, an event which is widely regarded as being the most prestigious occasion of the academic year. During the ceremony, the top forty members of the senior class, as voted on by students and teachers over a four-year period, are honored for their service, with special recognition given to the King, Queen, Captain of the Ball, and Maid of Honor.
While the ceremony does not take place until Feb. 15, seniors Elliot Higgins and Michelle Rowekamp, both of whom received the second-highest number of votes over four years, have earned the titles Captain of the Ball and Maid of Honor, respectively, in homage to their commitment in serving both their school and the community at large.
“I was overwhelmed and incredibly humbled when I heard the announcement,” Rowekamp said. “I definitely feel like my hard work has paid off.”
Higgins, a four-year varsity football player, has proved that it is possible to excel both on and off the field. In addition to serving as the senior class president, he was named 2nd Team All-State in football, and has recently been accepted into the United States Air Force Academy, which accepts only 15% of all applicants.
“My proudest achievement of being at McNick is definitely football. Getting the chance to be a captain as a junior and senior made me exceptionally proud. The highlight of my time at McNick was undoubtedly each football season,” Higgins said. “Senior year was probably the best because we were down to the last 12 guys that made it through all four years. I know I’m going to be friends with those guys the rest of my life.”
Rowekamp has channeled much of her energy into numerous social causes at McNicholas, having worked closely with groups such as the Rockets for Life, Student Philanthropy, and the McNicholas Service Club during her four years. Looking back, however, she admits that she is most proud of her accomplishments in the theatre.
“My work in the theatre, whether onstage, offstage, or in the costume department, has to be my proudest achievement. Just like Elliot has his football family, I have my theatre family,” Rowekamp said. “I am most proud of making the most out of these four years and creating lasting friendships and gaining a great education.”
Though Rowekamp is yet to decide on a college, she plans to major in criminal justice and psychology, while continuing to use her talents and passion for service to help others in her community.