Meet your 2016 rose princess candidates


Clarion photo Ashley Lytle

Kaytlin Gaines with her escort Thomas Gibson at the Rose Court voting assembly

By Conor Bergin, Editor-in-Chief

The beautiful, blossoming gardens, rainy sunshine, and bikers galore are all signs that spring time has arrived in the Rose City. The change of season also sets the stage for one of Portland’s greatest and longest traditions: The Rose Festival Court.

The Rose Festival Court consists of 15 upperclassmen girls selected from high schools in the Portland Metro-area. Once the 15 princesses are chosen in March they undergo a three-month process of participating in countless events and charity works until one is crowned Rose Queen in June.

This year, Cleveland students will vote between two candidates, seniors Brette Ramsay and Kaytlin Gaines, to decide who will earn the title of 2016 Cleveland Rose Princess and represent our school in this amazing experience.

Ramsay and Gaines, who normally work together as teammates on the Cleveland cheer team, will now be pitted against each other in the campaign for the crown.

Both girls noted Callie Krevanko, former cheer teammate and 2014 Cleveland Rose Princess as their inspiration for entering the ballot. “She was so inspiring and she gave a beautiful speech. I told myself, ‘I am going to do that when I can,’” remembered Gaines, who also ran for the position her junior year. Ramsay’s fond childhood memories of the event motivated her to join the tradition, “I had always seen it on TV and been to the parades, so I thought it would be really cool to have the opportunity to try out and give it a shot.”

On top of the fact that they are on the cheerleading team, both candidates have an impressive track record of extracurriculars that make them more than suitable for the court. Ramsay has played lacrosse for Cleveland the past two springs. She also is a member of the leadership class, an outdoor school counselor, and attended a weeklong seminar for the Naval Academy in the summer. She hopes to attend either Oregon or Oregon State next year and get on track to become a physical therapist by studying kinesiology.  

Gaines is a member of the Portland Student Union and a student advisor for the superintendent on the school board. On top of those achievements, she is a former leadership student and played softball her sophomore and junior year. She plans to attend an Oregon university next fall to study health sciences and kick off a career in sports medicine.

The Rose Festival can open up various doors and create invaluable connections for these two seniors to jumpstart their future careers. “You travel six days a week for six weeks and you meet a bunch of super fascinating people and you get to do a lot of really cool things you wouldn’t get to do normally. The Rose Festival really sets you up to go on for the rest of your life, like they give you a mentor who’s an executive in the field that you want to go into,” said Gaines.

Not only are the girls excited for the opportunities presented, they both agreed the festive and fancy aspect of the court was a tremendous perk. “If you mention ‘what is the Rose Festival like?’ It’s tradition, it’s class, it’s all that stuff. I’m really excited to dress up all fancy,” said Gaines.

When it comes down to it, however, the event is all about camaraderie and representing their school at a city-wide event with class and pride. “I love Cleveland and all it offers and I think I could represent it very, very well and really show people what Cleveland is all about,” Gaines assessed. “It’s crazy to think that out of all of the seniors and juniors that Kaytlin and I are the ones running against each other. We are both really good friends and whoever wins I’m going to be excited,” said Ramsay.

Ramsay is right to be excited. Whoever wins will certainly do the school justice.