The 2017 Pioneer Days Queen contestants have been hard at work for several weeks earning points to see who will wear the crowns.
Along with selling raffle tickets, the girls will be competing in a fashion show and speech contest this week at the annual Women’s Expo at Hayden High School.
Seeking the Queen’s crown are Sydney Contreras, Tara Kay Lane, Izzy Kimmel and Bianca Patrice Gutierrez while Jewelia Berumen and Marissa Barragan have their eyes on the Jr. Queen’s crown.
Sydney is 15 and a sophomore at Ray High School. She is the daughter of Tanya Scheibe and Ricardo Contreras. She has played softball in the past and was a member of the Ray High School JROTC.
Sydney likes to sing and travel on back roads. She loves to play sports and listen to music.
When she finishes school, she’d like to work in the technology field.
When asked why she was running for Pioneer Days Queen, she said: “I wanted to do something that was out of my comfort range and try something I’ve never done. At first I wasn’t so sure, but now I love running.” She added, “It’s been a great experience.”
Tara is 18 and a senior at Ray High School. She lives in Kearny with her parents Curtis and Sondra Lane. Tara helps out during the summer at the library’s summer reading program for children. She also helps at her church with the Vacation Bible School.
In her spare time, she likes to ride horses and hang out with her friends. She also likes to help her dad work on his old car.
Tara plans to go to college after high school and earn her degree in special education. She wants to return to Kearny and work with children in the Copper Basin. She and her family have been in the area for a long time. “I have aunts, uncles, my mom and brother who all grew up and graduated from here at Ray High.”
Tara is running for Pioneer Day Queen “to let other girls know that weight, looks and popularity don’t matter.” She added, “and to have fun.”
Izzy is 14 and a freshman at Ray High School. She lives in Dudleyville with her parents, John and Chatawn Kimmel. She is a member of the Science Club at school and runs track. She volunteers with the Jr. Chamber of Commerce, College for Kids at CAC and the summer reading program in Dudleyville.
“I love making pictures, making projects, and writing my own music,” Izzy said, “and singing.”
She plans to go to college after high school, but would like to be a firefighter. “And maybe open my own business someday,” she added.
“I’m running for Pioneer Day Queen this year because it was fun last year and so that I can show people the things I can do for myself and for the community.”
Bianca is 15 and a freshman at Ray High School. She lives in Kearny with her parents, Eddie and Rhonda Gutierrez. She is a member of Student Council and plays volleyball and track. She used to help out at Octoberfest in Kearny and other events, but finds she’s generally not old enough.
Her hobbies include playing volleyball, practicing makeup skills and playing with her dogs.
She hasn’t quite made up her mind whether she wants to be an orthopedic surgeon or an orthodontist. In any case, she wants to go to college at St. Georges University.
When asked why she’s running for Pioneer Day Queen, she said, “I ran for Queen because from what I’ve heard it’s super fun and I’m hoping I become more social.” She added, “And my dad didn’t think I would.”
Jewelia is 14 and an eighth grader at Ray Jr. High School. She lives in Dudleyville with her mom, Amber Berumen. She’s also the daughter of Adam Dukes. Jewelia has volunteered at Old Time Pizza, Norm’s and Family Dollar.
Her hobbies are drawing and singing. She also loves helping her mom on what she needs.
Jewelia has not solidified her career plans for after high school. Instead, her general plan is to “graduate college and get a good job.”
When asked why she is running for Jr. Queen, she explained, “Because Kindra (Cupples) told me about it. So I decided to run and make some friends and have some fun and be in something I might actually like.”
Marissa is 14 and an eighth grader at Ray Jr. High School. She lives in Hayden with her parents, Mario and Chelsea Barragan.
She has been in National Junior Honor Society for two years and is always on the high honor roll. She serves as the recorder for Junior High Student Council.
She said her hobbies include hunting, fishing, riding quads and dirt bikes, playing basketball, hanging out with her friends and spending time with her family.
Marissa has plans for her future. “My hopes for my future,” she said, is to graduate from Kearny, Ray High School, and hopefully try and get a scholarship for basketball and go to the college U of A. I want to stay in college for a couple of years. I would go to school to be in the medical field. That’s been my dream to become a doctor or a nurse, because I love to help people out.”
About running for Jr. Queen, she said: “I have decided to run for Pioneer Day Jr. Queen because I want to say I have accomplished something. If I were to win I would honor my title and people (would) be proud to call me their Jr. Queen.”
These girls are asking the support of the community, so if you see them out and about please purchase a ticket or two. Tickets are $1 and there are three cash pay outs, $150, $250 and $500. The Queen Crowning and cash drawings will be held during the Pioneer Day activities.