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Crater High senior named Pear Blossom queen

A senior from Crater High School was named the 2021 Pear Blossom Festival queen at the 30th annual Pear Blossom Scholarship Competition Friday at First Baptist Church.

Jaidyn Campbell, who attends the Crater School of Business, Innovation, and Science, was selected the winner of a $2,750 college scholarship from a pool of nine contestants from high schools throughout the Rogue Valley. The girls were judged on school leadership skills, academic achievement, community involvement, an interview with the judges, the writing and presentation of a 300- to 350-word essay and on their answers to impromptu questions while on stage.

“(Campbell) was good across the board,” said pageant director Darcey Mann-Self, who co-created the pageant with Val James and the late Patti Bills in 1991.

The first runner-up was Halle Harris from Logos Public Charter School and the second runner-up was Lily Akins from Cascade Christian High School.

Each of the princesses Campbell competed against took home a $750 scholarship. Also crowned Friday were junior king Lucas Kern and junior queen Madelyn Sevcik — they were chosen following an interview process that included questions about their favorite toy, activity, pets and “what do you want to be when you grow up?”

The competition for the title of Pear Blossom queen was determined using a weighted scoring system, with the most points, 40, being awarded for the quality of the contestants’ essay and presentation. The interview was worth 25 points, their applications another 25 and their handling of the impromptu questions five.

For her essay, Campbell wrote about her passion to help those who struggle with mental health disorders.

“I want to be working on the ground level, researching the connections between cognitive neuroscience and mental health treatment, so that I can help find solutions for people who are living with mental disorders,” Campbell wrote.

Each contestant also submitted their high school transcripts, which in Campbell’s case were row after row of A’s, even though she has taken six advanced placement classes in subjects ranging from government and politics to calculus and art history.

Campbell, who has a 4.10 GPA, is very active in her school. She’s a pole vaulter for the Crater track and field team, is the National Honor Society president and is the co-team captain for the State of Jefferson scavenger hunt team. She’s also a dancer, actress and singer for Teen Musical Theater of Oregon, volunteers for the theater, and pitches in as a volunteer for the Scenic Middle School Drama Club.

Campbell plans to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in neuroscience/biology and a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing, and later a PhD in neuroscience.

Applicants for the title of Pear Blossom queen provided judges with a letter of recommendation from an adult. Supporting Campbell’s bid was Crater School of Business, Innovation, and Science teacher Mike Rogan, who wrote of his student: “I would describe Ms. Campbell as creative, conscientious, determined and persistent, and these are qualities that help define who she is and what sets her apart. In all aspects of my program, Jaidyn has proven her abilities to the highest level. … This winter, she had a fantastic internship figuring out how to set up, run and monetize an industrial standard ShopBot CNC Machine. She consistently demonstrates that there is not a ceiling to her learning or abilities.”

As queen, Campbell will reign over the Pear Blossom Parade April 10, greeting the crowd from the VIP trailer.

Joe Zavala can be reached at 541-821-0829 or jzavala@rosebudmedia.com.