On Friday, April 13th, ten finalists for Mr. and Ms. Alpha Omega were interviewed by prominent members of the community for final consideration. Female contestants were judged by male counterparts and vice versa for male contestants. The judges included Kristine Schlismann, Roger Plechaty, Melissa Sherrod, Ronald Sarver, Jordan Smuksta, Rick Demick, Mike Gahan, Don Dickenson, Jo Slowik, and Ashley Dobby. They evaluated each contestant on the way they presented themselves and their accomplishments in addition to what they had submitted on paper.
Prior to the interviews, each contestant was required to write a 250 word cover letter explaining why they deserve to be Mr. or Ms. Alpha Omega and what it would mean to them. In addition, they had to include a resume consisting of awards received, community service, extracurricular activities, and leadership roles. The judges were given a month to review each candidate’s resume and rate them in each category, including the cover letter on a scale of seven to ten within merit, quantity, diversity, and frequency. Ten was labeled as distinguished, nine as excellent, eight as good, and seven as average.
During the interviews, each contestant was reviewed on a basis from one to five, with five being considered “strong” and one with “needs improvement” for eight to nine specific questions under the three categories of character attributes, ease of expression, and the interview in general. At the end of the day, Mrs. Galloy took the top scores for each candidates cover letter, resume, and interview and combined it into one score, then putting each candidate from highest to lowest to generate the top three finalists.
In retrospect, the judges were awed at the collective competitive spirit of this year’s top ten finalists. They described the interview as an eye-opener and an integral part to making this decision because what one finalist may not convey adequately on paper could shine through during the interview. It gives each contestant a chance to show their true colors and give the judges a different perspective as to who they really are rather than within the confines of numbers and scores.
As for the students, many of them were satisfied with the opportunity to be able to compete, as best said by Ms. Alpha Omega finalist Erin Cox, “[It] was nice to know it wasn’t all about GPA. Teachers and community members also got a say, and I just wish everyone could win.” Another finalist for Mr. Alpha Omega, Joe Wolnik, had this to say: “It was an honor to be considered for the award, and it was a surprise to me. The whole interview process was really nerve-wrecking, but it turned out to be very fun and the judges were nice.”
Community members and teachers alike agree that this year’s decision for Mr. and Miss Alpha Omega will be the toughest one in a long time, but well worth it. This prestigious award will be one to never forget winning or competing for. Good luck to each and every contestant.