It was the third of October. Sidney Houk stood at midfield, next to fellow senior attendants Breanna Stein and Christy Duchene, as the three girls eagerly awaited the announcement.
And then it came.
Houk had won the title of Montpelier’s Homecoming Queen. As thrilled as she was to be crowned, the new queen would have been happy if either of the other two senior girls had been selected as royalty.
“They’re my really good friends.” Houk said of her competition. “I’d have been fine regardless of the outcome.”
That being said, Houk was humbled at winning Homecoming Queen.
“I felt really honored that all the kids at my school liked me that much.”
Now she’ll see how the rest of Ohio feels about her.
With the encouragement of her guidance counselor, Houk applied to take part in the Ohio’s Favorite Homecoming Queen pageant. Imagine her surprise when she received a letter in the mail informing her that she had been selected to do just that. Of course, the opportunity to show those around the state what Montpelier is all about is an exciting one for Houk.
“I feel really good about it.” Professed Houk. “I’m honored to represent my school in a state competition.”
Only fourteen girls were chosen to compete in the pageant. The first step each contender must take is to consent to an interview with the judges. Little information is given to the competitors as to what questions will be asked, other than that they will have to do with the state.
“You don’t know what you need to learn for it.” Houk stated.
Upon the completion of the interview process, the judges will dwindle the entrants from fourteen to ten. Those remaining in the competition will walk the stage in evening wear, then answer an on-stage question. There is no talent competition, something for which Houk is thankful.
“I can’t sing and I’m not very coordinated.” She confessed.
“She has trouble walking.” Troy Houk, Sidney’s father, teased.
Despite the ribbing, Troy is quite proud of his daughter.
“We think she’s a good role model for other girls.” He proclaimed. “She gives one-hundred percent in everything she does.”
“She’s been a pretty good kid.” Sidney’s mother, Kandi Houk, offered. “If she wants something, she’s going to work for it.”
That may very well be why Sidney was picked battle for the title of Ohio’s Favorite Homecoming Queen. A quick glance at her extracurricular activities is enough to prove to anyone that her work ethic is first rate.
“I do a lot of activities in and out of school.” Houk claimed.
Indeed she does. A two sport athlete, Houk will soon be a four year letter winner in both Volleyball and Softball, earning All-League and All-District honors in the former. She’s also a member of Student Council and the National Honor Society, in addition to holding the office of Secretary for her class and being a four year Scholar Athlete.
Houk also does a significant amount of work for her community. She serves as a mentor to the students of the elementary Special Education class, while also serving as a positive role model for another young girl. Area events have also provided her with chances to help out, as she volunteers at the Balloon Festival during Bean Days. The Williams County Fair also gives her opportunities to donate her time, as she works in a doughnut booth during the festivities.
One of her favorite Fair activities, however, was Seniors Helping Seniors. Members of the Montpelier senior class took to helping senior citizens, particularly those bound to wheelchairs, and accompanied them throughout the fairgrounds, ensuring that they would be able to enjoy the Fair as much as possible.
But Houk’s most impressive accomplishment has to be her post-secondary work. Beginning to take collegiate courses offered at Northwest State Community College during her junior year, she is on course to graduate with twenty-one college credits ready to transfer. Most of the courses are standard pre-requisite work, such as Compositions I and II, allowing her to focus on her goal of working in the field of Speech Pathology once she actually attends college.
“I really worked hard on those.” Houk stated about her post-secondary courses. “I think I’m only taking three classes actually offered by Montpelier this year.”
With everything else going on in her life, the coming pageant is far from her top priority. That doesn’t mean it’s removed from her mind, though.
“I’m nervous for it.” Admitted Houk of the pageant. “I’m excited, though.”
The Ohio’s Favorite Homecoming Queen pageant will be held on April 12, at the Dayton Marriot Hotel. The winner of the pageant will advance to Nationals.
T.J. Hug can be reached at