A king and queen reveal their rise to royalty

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Many young boys and girls dream of becoming royalty. Although the vast majority will not pull a Meghan Markle when they grow up, a few lucky teenagers get to experience a taste of regality. Every year, as the leaves begin to fall and pumpkin spice lattes become socially acceptable again, RM crowns two seniors as homecoming king and queen.

This year’s king and queen are seniors Reggie Shardow and Molly Stamets. Initially, seniors took a poll to select the homecoming court. Afterwards, throughout the week leading up to the Homecoming Game, students voted for the two peers they wanted to see crowned on the football field. For both Shardow and Stamets, becoming a member of the court was already unexpected, so becoming king and queen was a complete surprise.

“When they were announcing on the speakers who was on the court, I was talking with a friend about my homecoming proposal, so I wasn’t paying attention,” Shardow said. “All of a sudden, people started saying my name. I was confused, and when they told me I was on court, and I was very surprised.”

Stamets was equally as shocked when she found out she was homecoming queen, receiving this distinction with gratitude and humility. “I was very surprised when they said my name. There were so many amazing people on the court who really deserved it, not to mention so many other awesome people in my entire grade,” Stamets said. “It was so nice of people to vote for me! It really warmed my heart to know that a lot of the amazing people at this school don’t think I’m the worst.”

Both got to enjoy the perks that came along with their titles. They got to do their own unique dances as they shimmied onto the dance floor, and they received recognition from their classmates and teachers. “The most memorable part of the dance was having the honor of being blessed with King Reggie’s dance moves. That guy is great,” Stamets said. “My favorite part was probably being posted on Monteleone’s Twitter. That’s a level of clout I never thought I’d achieve in this lifetime.”

Everything was especially new and memorable for Shardow. He had never been to the homecoming dance before, so that weekend was certainly one for the books, from walking down the field with his escort before the game to taking pictures with the rest of the court on Main Street.

Shardow said, “I’ve kind of neglected to go to homecoming these past few years. Since it’s my last year, I wanted to try out a lot of stuff that I hadn’t tried out in my previous three years.” He did not leave any boxes unchecked for his first and last homecoming. Shardow schemed with his friend, senior Clarissa Xia, to deliver a surprise homecoming proposal to senior Sydney Sun during the introductory meeting for YOU Service. He also enlisted the help of seniors Rachel Park and Edward Lee to design a poster for Sun and choreograph a K-pop dance that he would perform during the proposal. 

As a pep rally organizer, Stamets was also busy prior to the dance. Her actual homecoming dance experience was more easygoing. She took photos with other seniors at Lake Needwood, made an appearance at the dance, and then she and her date Simon Abedimengu headed out for food. “Simon and I kept it classy and got California Tortilla for dinner.” Stamets said.

Stamets appreciates the crown, but at the end of the day, it has not changed her personality or her perspective of others. “Being ‘queen’ is nice,” Stamets said, “but it is simply just a title and doesn’t really mean much. No one is going to care about trivial things like this in college or in a career or even now. Winning queen or not, I’m still the same person, and a popularity contest doesn’t prove my worth. Everyone is equal.”

This season is both a fun and bittersweet time for most seniors since it is their last chance to attend the homecoming football game and dance. Shardow looks forward to spending the rest of his final year as an RM rocket checking off more boxes on his bucket list. He hopes to try out for winter boms and Mr. RM. Although Stamets does not have anything specific planned, she also has her eyes set on the future.

“Even though I complain about high school all the time, it has been really fun.” Stamets said, “I can’t wait to see what the future holds and for all the amazing times ahead of me. I definitely don’t plan on peaking in high school.”