MARYSVILLE – Marysville Getchell High School junior Nathan Weller has always looked up to royals – now he rules among them.
In a rare turn of events for the Marysville Strawberry Festival, Weller was crowned king of the Senior Royalty during the April Friesner Memorial Royalty Scholarship Pageant Saturday in the Marysville-Pilchuck High School auditorium, receiving a princely $5,000 scholarship.
Weller said he was taken by surprise since the event’s emcee announced the royalty court in no particular order to the 200 people who attended. It wasn’t until later when somebody came up to him to confirm he was king that he realized he was, in fact, king. He jumped for joy. “I’m most excited to spread some positivity throughout Washington state and the surrounding areas,” Weller said. “I have friends who have been senior royalty, and I really admire them. I thought they were having a crazy, awesome time, so I wanted to be a part of this.”
Weller is a science and music afficionado who plays numerous instruments, and a member of the National Honor Society, Hi-Q Team, Marysville marching band, Getchell drumline and pep band. Members of the royalty court accompany the parade float and serve as ambassadors representing Marysville at a succession of parades and festivals throughout the Pacific Northwest for much of the year. They also make guest appearances at local events, activities, retirement homes and other venues.
Katelynn Melohusky and Kaitlyn Norris, a senior and junior respectively at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, were crowned senior princesses and will each receive a $3,500 scholarship. Melohusky said she was shocked but excited.
“I’m looking forward to getting to interact with so many different people,” she said. “There’s going to be a ton of people everywhere, and it’s going to be a new experience.”
When Norris heard her named called, she said “Oh, my God, I was really excited. I was shaking and I’m still shaking.” Norris has participated in parades with the school’s marching band, so she loves them.
She became a royalty candidate because she wants to give back to her community.
“After my freshman year and what happened at M-P, our community gave us so much support that it really helped the healing process,” Norris said. Candidate Emma Burkett earned the $500 Bob Klepper Congeniality Award.
The Junior Royalty princesses are Emmah Butler and Abigail Lewis, both of whom attend 10th Street Middle School, and Ziri Morales from Marysville Middle School.
Candidates are rated on talent, brief speeches and response to an impromptu question. The talent portion featured Weller playing a classical clarinet solo, Melohusky on flute playing “Dance of the Reed Flutes” from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutracker Suite, M-G junior Cassandra Kunselman doing One Direction’s hit “Best Song Ever” in American Sign Language, and Emma Burkett on ukulele.