A Southeast Bulloch High School graduate and homecoming queen will represent Georgia this weekend in the America’s Homecoming Queen pageant.
The contest begins Saturday in Memphis, Tenn.
“In a contest requiring a 30-minute interview, and the parade on stage and the drama that follows, all I can say this type of engagement is brand new,” said Katie Nevil, who was the homecoming queen last fall and graduated with honors in May from SEB. “My grade school activity, as well as high school, was all about sports, track and field.”
Nevil qualified for state competition in track during each of her four years in high school. She received the Coach’s Award for each of the last three years, as she led the girls track team to the regional meet, where they brought home the gold each time.
So no one was more surprised than Nevil when, during halftime of the homecoming football game on Friday, Oct. 12, she was crowned Southeast Bulloch’s homecoming queen. This turned out to be her entry into the whirlwind of pageants.
“What took place was our senior class voted on who would be members of the homecoming court,” Nevil said. “Those names were posted, and the entire student body voted who should be crowned homecoming queen.
“When they called out my name, I was stunned,” she added. “Really, I had to lean on my dad, who was my escort! Me? The student who had never felt drawn in that direction? Nothing at all wrong with students who enjoy the stage, but as for me, give me a wide open track, and I am lined up to outrun the competition. That had always been the setting for my performances.”
Unbeknownst to her, destiny wasn’t through, as she received an invitation to state competition for Georgia’s Homecoming Queen in Alpharetta the weekend of March 22.
“I talked it over with mom and dad,” Nevil said. “They have been wonderful parents, allowing me, my older sister, Janna and brother, James, to be decision makers.”
She decided to give it a try, and on Sunday, March 24, she brought home the state title as Georgia’s Homecoming Queen, qualifying her for the national competition in Memphis.
“This pageantry is not all about beauty, though that helps,” Nevil said. “Fifty percent of the score is based on interviews, privately, socially and that night on stage.”
One additional aspect of the national pageant that appeals to Nevil is the opportunity for friends and neighbors to vote for her as America’s Favorite Homecoming Queen, which is basically a people’s choice award. The link, is www.americashomecomingqueen.com/index.cfm/state-queens, is available through the morning of the pageant, and each vote costs $1. Scroll down the list alphabetically by state until you see Nevil’s name, click on it and follow the instructions to vote.
A devoted Christian, as is the rest of her family, Nevil sees each opportunity that comes her way is chance for fun and sharing the good times with friends while serving God. As a student at Georgia Southern University studying industrial engineering, Nevil said the cadence of her life has change – except for that spiritual presence.
“There has never been a moment in my life’s events, walking across that national stage next Tuesday or all those days of my past when I stood poised to kick-start a race, without a doubt I felt His presence,” she said.