Against the odds

SHS student still crowned Miss Cardinal after snowcoming cancellation


Junior Pablo Cremer and Senior La’Quera Williams were named Mr. and Miss Cardinal on Feb. 7. (Photo contributed by La’Quera Williams)

Senior La’Quera Williams, with hard work and meeting the requirements for this position, was announced Miss Cardinal on Feb. 7. 

Miss Cardinal is supposed to be the queen of Snowcoming, but this event was later canceled due to COVID-19 and time restrictions. Teachers nominate students for the title, and to be nominated, students receive points for good deeds for the community, such as tutoring and helping out in school. 

Williams originally decided to participate in the competition because there was little diversity to it, but she never thought she would win a position that she feels is not given to many Black girls. 

“I just wanted to show that by being an African American female that I could win something,’’ Williams said. 

She also thought that because she was going up against students who were well known by peers and teachers, she had little chance of receiving the title. Despite this doubt, she earned points by helping another student with math, shoveling snow for her neighbor and going to basketball games in order to show her school spirit. 

She was always a student that cared about her studies, and as she grew older, she realized that controlling her emotions and doing the right thing was a building block for what she wanted to be in the future: a surgeon. 

Before Williams arrived at the high school, English teacher Jessi Walpole heard that she was a troubled child. Despite all of this, Walpole had faith that she was a good student, which gave Williams motivation to do her best in high school. 

Walpole said that as soon as she met Williams, she felt that she carried herself like an upperclassman. Williams embodies the school mission by being an active member in the SHS community. She is dedicated to her schoolwork, she’s on the dance and cheer team, is a boys baseball manager and has school spirit. 

‘‘Miss Cardinal is probably a big milestone for her and her career of all the things that she’s done because she puts a lot of energy into a lot of different spaces in our school,’’ Walpole said. 

Walpole sees how Williams handles emotional situations with balance. She is able to explain negative emotions and disagreements. Before Williams joined the team, Walpole was told to not let her on the team based on how she was in middle school. 

‘‘I realize that I am more than my attitude…,’’ Williams said. ‘‘Being on the dance team for many years and having her help and guide was really good.’’

Williams decided to graduate a year early and made this decision because she wants to move further in life by getting an education and helping sick people. Miss Cardinal is one of last achievements before leaving SHS. 

Her high school years have had a lot of ups and downs but she is ready to pursue higher education. Winning Miss Cardinal has taught her that she can get over these obstacles if she believes in herself and has ambition.