Erica Jones, New Richmond's Homecoming Queen for 2011, is now Ohio’s Homecoming Queen for 2012 and will be off to Disneyland in California for July’s national finals.
Jones beat out 20 other finalists in state competition April 14 at the Marriott Hotel in Dayton. The pageant is sponsored by America’s Homecoming Queen Inc., a non-profit organization that promotes education and community service for high school homecoming queens in all fifty states.
Click on the photo below to watch the announcement video produced by Jim Robinson's TV production class.
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“It was a pageant but it was not a talent and bathing suit pageant like the Miss America pageant,” explained Jones. “It was more about your character and personality and how you respond to questions and how you poise yourself.”
Jones, who plans to major in business and broadcasting in college, was urged to enter the pageant by her television production teacher Jim Robinson.
“I had never been in a pageant before and I thought this would be a fun new experience,” said Jones, who is the daughter of Brian and Martha Jones.
Although it was not a talent contest, Jones’ talent as a singer may have played a role in her selection by the judges.
“It’s not a talent competition but one of the judges said, ‘You really seem like you are passionate about singing,’ ” recalled Jones. “I told her I was and that I had recorded a demo in Los Angeles and she said, ‘Sing something for me.’ So I sang my favorite song, At Last by Etta James.
“I sang just the beginning of it and she loved it and said, ‘That’s all I needed to hear.’”
Jones has been accepted at Western Kentucky University but those plans may change depending on her finish in the national pageant. All state winners who compete at Disneyland are guaranteed at least a partial college scholarship with the amount being determined as to how the Finalist places at the Nationals.
“I will be in Los Angeles all summer and if everything works out with a few agencies I have out there for acting and singing, then I may actually attend college out there, especially if I get a scholarship from this pageant.”
America’s Homecoming Queen judges are selected from the fields of education, travel, and public relations. Finalists compete in personal interviews and prom gown competition only. The organization says it is looking for the all American girl who wants a career.