For the first time in the 80 year history of the Rose Festival Court, Jefferson High School will not be represented in the annual high school scholarship program.
The school recently disqualified its lone representative from the princess selection process because the student faced disciplinary action for an incident at school, officials said.
“It was a difficult decision to withdraw,” said Jefferson Vice Principal Ricky Allen.
Jefferson had only one qualified girl vying as a Rose Festival princess this year, a result blamed on competing interests for students’ time, like sports, other activities and academics. The school had been part of the court every year since 1930.
Rose Festival officials were disappointed.
“It’s sad. We did not want to see it happen,” Rose Festival spokesman Rich Jarvis said.
Jarvis said there are many qualified students, “great young ladies,” at Jefferson and other schools, who are choosing not to participate because they are busy.
“We ask a lot of the girls, he said.
This year, Grant, Madison, Marshall, St. Mary’s and Parkrose all failed to generate the five princess candidates needed to keep each school with an automatic placement on the court in future years.
Once this year’s Rose Festival ends, a court committee will re-examine the program’s success in attracting students.