On Jan. 9, McNicholas High School announced its court and honor guards for its 66th Annual Mardi Gras Pageant and Ball. The formal celebration, considered the most prestigious of the year, is set to take place on Feb. 11.
According to the McNicholas website, the Sisters of St. Joseph brought the Mardi Gras tradition with them from New Orleans when they founded McNick in 1952. The occasion is a time to celebrate the service of its court and honor guard members. In the voting process, teachers and students yearly nominate and vote for classmates based on their service contributions to McNick and the wider community. In order to qualify for the ballot, students are required to meet two or three different service categories depending on their grade level.
The senior court consists of 40 senior students, 20 boys and 20 girls, who have earned the most votes from their fellow classmates and teachers over their past four years at McNick. The junior and sophomore honor guards consist of eight students each, four boys and four girls, the current top vote-earners from their respective grades. Full lists of the court and honor guards are available here. Announced on the night of the ceremony is the top honor of Mardi Gras King and Queen, the top male and female vote-earners among the senior court. The second-highest vote earners of the senior court are the Captain of the Ball and Maid of Honor, who receive special recognition. This year’s Captain of the Ball is Nick Rosenbaum. The Maid of Honor is Skyler Lance.
“I was really excited,” Lance said. “We’ve worked so hard all these years.”
“I was very surprised,” Rosenbaum added. “I wasn’t expecting it at all, so hearing my name a second time on the announcements was pretty exciting.”
Lance and Rosenbaum have been heavily involved in the McNick community throughout their high school years, both of whom have played for McNick athletics, served on Student Council, and earned four years of honor roll. Lance’s favorite McNick contributions were to theater and philanthropy. However, she said the overall highlight of her time at McNick would be the senior retreats. “Appalachia, leading Kairos, and going on Kairos opened up my eyes to how you can change someone else’s life and the good you can find in everyone,” she said. Rosenbaum’s involvement with Swim Team was his favorite McNick highlight. “I have always loved swimming, so anything that involves the team or swimming, I like to be there,” he said.
After McNick, Lance plans to study architectural engineering. While she has yet to decide on a college, she has narrowed her search down to University of Cincinnati, University of Dayton, or Clemson University. Rosenbaum looks to study business at either UC or Xavier University. He also intends to go into the Air Force ROTC program.
On Mardi Gras night, Lance said she just looks forward to dancing and having fun. “I just love the dances and dancing with my friends,” she said.
“I am excited to see who the King and Queen are,” Rosenbaum said. “The court is filled with lots of great, deserving people, so hearing who king and queen are will be exciting.
As Captain of the Ball and Maid of Honor, Lance and Rosenbaum wanted to congratulate all members of the court and honor guards, and they wanted to thank and wish a fun night to everyone else involved. “Congratulations to all those on court,” Lance said. “I hope everyone has a great Mardi Gras,” Rosenbaum added. “It should be a fun time.”