Will a Winston Churchill High School junior or senior shed tears of joy as he’s crowned Mr. Churchill next week? Will he use his title to save the world’s children — or at least the children in Potomac? Will he wear anything that incurs protests from animal-rights activists?
These are among the great unknowns as the school prepares for its first Mr. Churchill pageant in 11 years on Wednesday, Dec. 6. A portion of the proceeds will go the Winston Churchill High School Foundation.
"The kids don’t really know much about it from back in the day, but they know that other schools do it," said Adam Field, a social studies teacher and student government advisor at Churchill. "So there’s a buzz, and there are some teachers here who remember it."
"We kind of wanted to raise school spirit, and get people excited for something," said Ashley Dong, a junior on Churchill’s Student Government Association.
Twenty-three students auditioned for the pageant, and the pool was reduced to six seniors and six juniors. They will be judged on four categories, including a casual-wear/pickup line competition. (Pickup lines will be screened just before the pageant.)
Contestants will also have a formal wear competition, each wearing a tuxedo donated by After Hours Formal Wear in White Flint, as well as a question-and-answer session and an individual talent contest. One contestant will build a coffee table in less than two minutes.
Churchill’s panel of judges will include Principal Joan Benz and teachers Jessica Speck (drama), Lallitha John (social studies) and Haroot Hakopian and Shelley Perrett (English).
Just like Price Waterhouse at the Academy Awards, Churchill math teacher Jan Williams will serve as the official auditor of the voting process. And in the spirit of similar, national-scale pageants, each Mr. Churchill contestant will be part of a choreographed dance number. It’s not part of the competition, which is fortunate for a few of them. "Not all of them are dancers," Dong said.