WELLSBORO - Twenty-nine young women from around the state will compete for the title of 2014 Laurel Queen on June 22.
According to Tioga County Chamber of Commerce personnel, the queen candidates gather at noon June 20 on the steps of the county courthouse for the official welcome.
That evening, the Queen's Preview and Concert at the Wellsboro High School auditorium will feature musical entertainment by Sadie Green Sales.
Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m., the young ladies will ride on professionally designed floats during the Laurel Festival parade; "Uniting with Nature" is the theme for this year's cavalcade.
Scholarship amounts have been increased this year for winners.
The winner receives $1,500; first runner-up $750, sponsored by Wellsboro Rotary; second runner-up $500, and Miss Congeniality will receive $250.
There also will be some entertainment at the Queen's Coronation Ceremony, held at the high school this year at 7:30 p.m.
Michelle's Studio of Tap dancers will perform, as will violinist Johanna Vogt.
This year's candidates are:
Shania Eschrich, Austin Area High School, daughter of Steven and Crystal Eschrich, has participated in track and field, prom committee, SALSA and Spanish Club. She has been on the high honor and honor rolls, achieved perfect attendance and has received most improved student and student of the month awards in the past. Eschrich plans to attend college to major in chemistry or dietary.
Kaetha Gentzyel, Bucktail Area High School, daughter of Carl and Pam Gentzyel, has been involved in Interact Club, Environmental Club, Student Council and Ski Club. She has volunteered at Bucktail Medical Center and has gone on a mission trip to Honduras to help at an orphanage. Gentzyel plans to attend college to achieve a special education degree.
Molly Slusarick, Cameron County High School, daughter of Brian and Christine Slusarick, has participated in marching and concert bands, Emporium Ultimate Cheer, National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, yearbook and Spanish Club. She is a Red Cross-certified lifeguard and has volunteered with Sylvan Heritage Council. Slusarick plans to attend Chatham University in Pittsburgh, majoring in nursing.
Whitney Bailey, Canton High School, daughter of Steve and Kim Bailey, has participated in Student Council, Big Buddy Program, softball, competition swimming, enrichment program, Spanish and psychology clubs, mentoring program, Mothers Athletic Club, Battle of the Books, prom committee, May Day committee and the scholarship challenge team. She has been on the honor roll her entire high school career. Bailey plans to attend Elmira College to obtain a bachelor of nursing degree.
Rachael Shady, Central Mountain High School, daughter of Terry and Melanie Shady, has participated in student government, student council, National Honor Society, student-athletic leadership club, varsity volleyball and varsity softball. She has been on the high honor and honor rolls, achieved numerous volleyball awards and is the 2014 student council vice president, secretary of National Honor Society, varsity volleyball captain and varsity softball captain. Shady plans to attend Lycoming College to major in psychology and minor in early childhood education, as well as play softball.
Darian Dubots, Coudersport Area High School, daughter of George and Cindy Dubots, has participated in volleyball, National Honor Society, choir, Show Choir, yearbook and enrichment. She has been on the distinguished honor roll and has volunteered at Coudersport Special Olympics, Potter County Fun Fair and Teacher's Pet Rescue. Dubots plans to attend Pittsburgh University in Greensburg, majoring in biology.
Alexis Huyler, Cowanesque Valley High School, daughter of Shawn and Lori Huyler, has participated in band, chorus, volleyball, softball, student council, National Honor Society and is the 2014 class historian. She has been on the high honor roll her entire high school career and has achieved student of the month twice. Huyler plans to attend York College of Pennsylvania to major in nursing.
Casey Lane, Galeton Area School District, daughter of Scott and Julie Lane, has participated in enrichment, art club, photojournalism, National Honor Society and Yearbook Club. She is her class designer and soccer manager. Lane plans to pursue working in graphic design, with the possibility of attending art school.
Ally Morgret, Hershey High School, daughter of Bill and Alicia Morgret, has participated in Sigma Gamma, National Honor Society, National Art Society, Key Club, Students Against Destructive Decisions and field hockey. She has been awarded three field hockey varsity letters, one lacrosse varsity letter and an academic achievement award for her composition class. Morgret plans to attend Messiah College, majoring in elementary education.
Brooke Snyder, Hughesville High School, daughter of James and Crystal Snyder, has participated in track and field, prom committee, SALSA and Spanish Club. She has participated in student council and has achieved distinguished honor roll, student of the month and took first place in a computer fair for web page design. Snyder plans to pursue a certified nursing assistant certification and veterinary technician.
Gabrielle Antonicelli, Jersey Shore Area Senior High School, daughter of Jeffrey Antonicelli and JoAnn Evans, has been secretary of the Class of 2014, senior vice president of the Future Business Leaders of America, president of Student Council, Color Guard section leader, treasurer and the lead of her school's musical, member of two choir ensembles and Concert Choir secretary. Antonicelli plans to attend Dusquesne University in Pittsburgh to attain a degree in multi-platform journalism and theatre.
Jessica Brodnicki, Liberty High School, daughter of John and Juanita Brodnicki, has participated in key club, National Honor Society, student council, Spanish Club, chorus, concert and marching band, prom committee and ski club. She has achieved highest grade point average in several subject areas. Brodnicki plans to pursue a major in special education and early childhood education.
Mikayla Born, Loyalsock Township High School, daughter of Richard and Sandy Born, has participated in varsity cheerleading, concert band, Students Against Destructive Decisions, Cross Age, Key Club and Spirit Club. She is the 2014 yearbook editor-in-chief, class vice president and varsity cheerleading captain. Born plans to attend college to major in finance.
Simone Lichty, Mansfield High School, daughter of Dave and Ann Lichty, has participated in basketball, cross-country, track, yearbook and FBLA. She has been on high honor roll, was a state qualifier in track and secured the district title in cross-country. Lichty plans to attend Baptist Bible College in Clark Summit, majoring in business.
Christianna Woodling, Montgomery Area School District, daughter of Todd Woodling, Robyn Welch and Donna Woodling, has participated in National Honor Society, Student Council, SADD and Virtuoso. She has been on high honor roll and received student of the month for 2012-13 and 2013-14. Woodling plans to attend Penn State-University Park, majoring in childhood and early adolescent education and minoring in an animal-related science.
Alexa Holmes, Montoursville Area School District, daughter of William and Vanessa Holmes, has participated in key club, National English Honor Society and girls' tennis. She lettered for three years in tennis and is the Angel Tree chairwoman. Holmes plans to attend college to major in nursing.
Jessica Pachuski, Mt. Carmel Area High School, daughter of Peter and Valerie Pachuski, has participated in chorus, Future Teachers of America, National Honor Society and Distinguished Honor Society. She was the lead of the musical this year and received WVIA Artist of the Week.
Margaret Merk, Muncy Area High School, daughter of Daniel and Barbara Merk, has participated in her school newspaper, Future Business Leaders of America, Foreign Language Club, National Honors Society and Students Against Destructive Decisions. She has won the Veterans of Foreign Wars essay contest, placing first in the county and third in the region. Merk plans to attend Penn State University to begin a career in speech pathology.
Kayla Harris, New Covenant Academy, daughter of Tim Harris and Amanda Fulkerson, has participated in soccer and Youth Leadership of Tomorrow. She was the 2014 class vice president and has received high honor roll. She also received the awards of 2013 Tioga County Development Corp. leader and 2013 Most Defensive Soccer Player. Harris plans to attend The University of Findlay to double major in occupational therapy and equine science.
Meredith Kline, North Penn High School, daughter of Randy and Brenda Kline, has been her school's varsity cheerleading captain, participated in varsity basketball, varsity track, National Honor Society and Key Club. Kline plans to attend University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown to obtain a degree in athletic training.
Sara McGee, Oswayo Valley High School, daughter of Michael and Gail McGee, has participated in community theater, pep band and prom committee. She has been on the honor roll and achieved an academic letter and music letter. McGee plans to attend college for theater and film acting.
Brittany Habbart, Oxford Area High School, daughter of Gary and Nicole Habbart, has participated in Diversity Club, Gay-Straight Alliance, Marching Band and Spanish National Honor Society. She has been student of the month and enjoys volunteering at large events such as the Buddy Walk. Habbart plans to attend college to be a chemical engineer.
McKenna Johnson, Port Allegany High School, daughter of Scott and Risha Johnson, has participated in varsity soccer, varsity basketball, varsity softball, chorus, Chamber Singers, show choir, Spectrum '14, Concert Band, Senior High IU9 Band, Marching Band, Jazz Band, Mock Trial, Varsity Club, Centerstage, Student Council and National Honor Society. She has been on the honor roll for all four marking periods. Johnson plans to attend St. Bonaventure University, majoring in physical therapy.
Bayli Kurtz, South Williamsport High School, daughter of Steven and Cheryl Kurtz, has participated in Family Career and Community Leaders of America, Future Business Leaders of America and was the track manager. She also has been involved in Righteous Invasion of Truth. Kurtz plans to attend Bloomsburg University, majoring in mass communication.
Alyssa Gregory, St. John Neumann Regional Academy High School, daughter of Michael and Alison Gregory, has participated in School Theatre, Academic Decathlon, Senior High Choir, National Honor Society, Pennsylvania Music Educators Association and Students Against Destructive Decisions Club. She has been on the high honor and honor rolls and has achieved student of the month. Gregory plans to attend college to study in either computer science or computer engineering.
Courtney Binford, Troy High School, daughter of Tyrone and Patricia Binford, has participated in Letterman's Club, Future Business Leaders of America, Leo Club, Prom Court and Rachel's Challenge Club. She has been the senior class president and achieved honor roll her entire high school career. Binford plans to become a licensed cosmetologist and licensed massage therapist.
Ivy Lunt, Warrior Run High School, daughter of Charles and Kandi Lunt, has participated in Student Council, cheerleading and National Honor Society. She has received a varsity letter in cheerleading, is the co-captain of her cheerleading squad and treasurer of her Student Council. Lunt plans to attend Southern New Hampshire University to major in hospitality.
Kathleen Straniere, Wellsboro Area High School, daughter of Anthony and Krista Straniere, has participated in Dickens Choir, Women's Ensemble, Volleyball, Track and Field, Connection Plus, Mock Trial, National Honor Society, Spring Musical, Student Council and Students Against Destructive Decisions. She has been Student of the Month, Athlete of the Week and volleyball team captain. Straniere plans to attend Mansfield University majoring in nutrition.