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Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017
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Durant High reveals its latest Calendar Girls

PLANT CITY - Thirteen is supposed to be an undesirable number, but that's how many lucky Durant High students will soon strike a pose for the school's upcoming calendar. Durant hosted its 2012-13 Calendar Girl pageant Friday, featuring 42 girls vying for the 13 spots. That's up from 32 competitors last year. The school opened in 1995 and the pageant is one of its longest-standing traditions. "We didn't have the pageant right when the school opened, but I know we had it within those first few years," said event chairwoman Peggy Voss, a culinary arts instructor at the school.
The 2013 Durant High Calendar Girls are Madison Astin, Macaley Barrow, Vanessa Braico, Michaela Dry, Nikki Honaker, L'Achelle Jean-Jacques, Alexis Johns, Courtney Lisenby, Lauren Mosher, Haley Smith, Zuhaily Smith, Sara Snapp and Marissa Thompson. The competition is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors. The girls with the top scores were selected for the calendar, which will be released no later than Christmas, according to Voss. Each contestant was randomly assigned a month. Snapp is this year's cover girl, an honor that goes to the senior with the highest score. "I feel overwhelmed, shocked and blessed," said Snapp, who has been in the previous two school calendars. "I've worked very hard for this, and I'm very thankful." Chelsea Bowden, last year's cover girl and the reigning Florida Strawberry Festival Queen, was on hand to crown Snapp. Voss said the Calendar Girls will have their own float at the Plant City Christmas Parade, as well as the Strawberry Festival. Contestants were judged on three criteria: stage presentation, personality and natural beauty, which Voss said refers to ensuring each girl's hair, makeup and clothes didn't age them too much. From there, the field was whittled down to 25 competitors who took part in a question-and-answer session. Although the Calendar Girls were the event's main attraction, the pageant featured a performance by Durant's jazz ensemble. Students from the school's Vision and Gentlemen's Quest clubs also provided their services as ushers, on-stage escorts and more. "One of my favorite things about this pageant is that we've made it a campus-wide activity for all the students," Voss said.

jceballos@tampatrib.com (813) 731-8120

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