StuCo hosts third annual Mr. Mill Valley and raises $300 for the Shawnee Special Olympics

Four juniors and four seniors competed in a variety of events to earn the title with senior Conner Ward taking home the crown

Ashlyn Windmiller, JAG reporter

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Students and families entered the Little Theatre on Wednesday, March 28 to watch the annual Mr. Mill Valley competition. The contestants included juniors Jack Matchette, Jack Mahoney, Killian O’Brien and Noah Smith and seniors Conner Ward, Mike Turner, Cody Robertson and Justin Grega. The boys participated in a spirit wear runway show, performing talents, reading poetry and answering questions in formal wear. After the performances, students and the judges: math teacher Brian Rodkey, band teacher Deb Steiner, DeSoto High School’s Mr. Wildcat and math teacher Greg Oder voted to name Ward the 2018 Mr. Mill Valley.

According to the leader of the event, junior StuCo member Kate Backes, the event was unique compared to the previous years because student council decided to allow contestants to choose a charity to donate the proceeds to instead of requiring money to go towards a specific predetermined organization.

“The boys picked their own charity and all of the money raised would go towards the charity of the winner’s choice,” Backes said. “Usually in the past, we’ve done it to where we have one charity we’re fundraising for.”

Although the event was meant to be fun and easygoing, Smith realized that there was still an essence of competition and encountered some challenges in perfecting his talent.

“I didn’t realize it would be so difficult to memorize my song,” Smith said. “I think that having singing as my talent really set me apart from the other [contestants].”

On the other hand, Ward enjoyed his experience and appreciated wrapping up his last year of high school with a lighthearted performance with his close friends.

“I thought that this event would be something fun to end my senior year with,” Ward said. “It was nice going out there and performing with some good people to put on a show.”

For many of the contestants, Mr. Mill Valley acted as an opportunity to escape comfort zones and think outside the box. Backes believed that the event served as a good way to connect with others and represent their individuals talents.

“This event gives people a chance to get involved in something that is really special and tailored to them,” Backes said.

Smith was happy with the results of the event and believed that participating was a reward in itself.

“I think it’s important that we host events like this,” Smith said, “It’s a great way to keep in touch with the community and get involved in the school.”

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