Durant High School senior Gabriella Alba was named the 2023 Covergirl on November 15 after competing in the annual Calendar Girl Pageant. Twelve other contestants were chosen to represent each month on the calendar.
Anniston Griffin, Addison Griffin, Elyse Maramara and Skylar Sewell will represent January through April on the 2023 calendar. Kennedie Clinton, Annika Legg, Faith Satterfield, Molly Rice and Molly Usher will be on May through September. October will be represented by Emma Kimes, and Leah Greenwell and Anna Shamblin will be on the calendar for November and December.
Alba is very involved at Durant High School as a member of Durant Theatre Company, Durant’s Show Choir, Science National Honor Society and English National Honor Society. She holds leadership roles on Durant’s Senior Council, Impact Club, National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society.
“I was incredibly surprised and couldn’t believe that I did that well in my first pageant,” said Alba. “I had always wanted to do something like that since I was a little girl and thought it would just be a fun experience to take part in.”
The competition involved two rounds for the contestants. During the first round, contestants walked across the stage while a short biography was read, and they were judged on poise, natural beauty and physical appearance. The second round gave contestants the opportunity to answer a question from the judges.
Alba said the most difficult part was the second round of the competition when she answered the question by talking about her father, who passed away in April 2020.
“I just started thinking about how proud he would have been of me for being in the pageant, but I took a short pause and regrouped myself, and reminded myself that he is still watching me every step of the way,” said Alba.
This is the second year the competition has been a fundraiser for the Durant Booster Club, but this year it was hosted in front of a sold-out crowd.
“The program was suspended in 2021 due to COVID and then the booster club was invited to pick up the mantle in 2022. We hope to continue to grow the pageant next year, maximizing the opportunity for girls to participate and the amount of money raised,” said booster club member Jen Moreno.
This year’s contestant application was online, and all 40 spots filled up within nine minutes of opening. While three contestants did end up dropping out at the last minute, 37 girls competed and raised funds for the booster club. A combination of advertisements and tickets sold by the contestants led to the booster club raising over $20,000 in November.
For more information on the annual Calendar Girl Pageant, visit the Durant Athletic Booster Club’s website at www.durantboosters.com.