Taking Their Places on the Stage

Voter fraud? Stacked election? Darkhorse candidate? These may be descriptors some could throw at the American presidential election, but there’s another election that could carry each of these words: the selection for Homecoming Queen.

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“I would make all the St. Mark’s boys come to our mixers.” – Ashna Kumar

Though St. Mark’s has long hosted the Homecoming that some Hockaday students attend, the nomination and election of Homecoming Queen has long been a subject as confusing as a contested convention.

Even Form IV Dean Rebekah Calhoun, often a source for the answer to any and all questions a senior at Hockaday may have, confessed that most of what she knows about the process for the Homecoming Queen’s nomination and election is “hearsay.”

“It feels somewhat strange to people, because it’s typically all our girls out there,” Calhoun said. “How did they get there? How were they nominated? Nobody [at Hockaday] really knows.”

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“It would be really cool if we had joint dance classes.” – Emma Paine

St. Mark’s Upper School Student Council President Christian McClain outlined the general process of the nomination and selection. First, he said in an email interview, the student council seniors meet after a general student council meeting to discuss potential nominees. Though it’s just the beginning of the process, McClain described this part as the most difficult.

There are so many factors that we take into account when we are deciding who the nominees will be,” McClain said. “We look for…someone who is well[-]involved in the community and always seems to bring a positive outlook to situations.”

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“I would let the cafeteria expand to accommodate them.” – Hannah Sung

Narrowing down this year’s potential nominees took a while — about an hour, according to McClain — but eventually, the St. Mark’s seniors had selected their 10 nominees (five for Homecoming King, five for Homecoming Queen).

Calhoun also agreed that though she may not know the ins and outs of the actual nomination process, she has found the end results of the nominees to be a selection of Hockaday students that really represents and re ects the senior class.

“[The St. Mark’s Student Council] typically [does] a good job of picking a variety of people,” Calhoun said. “Not everybody is a cheerleader or the president of student council.”

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“I would set up a secret penpal thing.” – Isabel Smith

Though the process has been effective, if the Form IV Dean could change the process just slightly, she would.

“Ideally, I think it’d be great if [Hockaday students are] going to be nominated, then we get to be apart of the voting process,” she said.

However, Calhoun also acknowledges that Homecoming is hosted by St. Mark’s, and that it is the St. Mark’s students’ prerogative to manage the nomination and election process. That doesn’t mean she’s wholly accepted the process as it stands, though.

“It kind of falls in that grey area of sort of being brother-sister schools, but it not being a completely dedicated relationship,” Calhoun said.

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“I really want classes with them.” – Joy Nesbitt

Sloane Castleman ‘15 was Homecoming Queen last year, and remembers the process as being casual.

“I’m friends with the [former] president… we just had a conversation about it,” Castleman said. “He texted me the details.”

Castleman, along with the other nominees, had to complete a questionnaire lled with mostly silly questions. They were also interviewed live for the Homecoming video.

“I don’t think there was a big reveal,” Castleman said.

This year, though the nominees were initially told they would be part of the Homecoming video, the video was published to YouTube on Sept. 21. They were briefly introduced in the Sept. 23 Remarker, the St. Mark’s student newspaper.

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Maria Katsulos

Maria is the Business Manager of the Fourcast, which means she is an expert at spending money on Potbelly and approaching strangers about their marketing strategy. She lived in Washington, D.C. for a semester and only left behind (approximately) 17 socks. She is also co-president of the GSA, obsessed with ice hockey and pretty sure she was Joan of Arc in a former life.

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