Allison Diehl, a junior representing Millville Area Junior Senior High School, was crowned the 2019 Pennsylvania State Laurel Queen during the Saturday, June 15 coronation ceremony at 6:30 p.m. in the Coolidge Theatre at the Deane Center for the Performing Arts at 104 Main St, in Wellsboro. She was awarded a $1,500 scholarship.
First runner-up Miss New Covenant Academy Hannah Colegrove was awarded a $750 scholarship and second runner-up Miss North Penn-Liberty Briauna Wilson, a $500 scholarship. Named Miss Congeniality by the other queen candidates was Miss Wellsboro Ariana Carleton. She was awarded a $250 scholarship. The Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce through the Wellsboro Foundation sends the scholarship funds to the college each young lady chooses to attend to help pay tuition.
Laurel Queen judges included David Cohick, judge coordinator and the director of Tioga County Emergency Services in Wellsboro; Renata Stiehl, WENY-TV news director and anchor in Horseheads, N.Y.; and Jacob Michaels with 93.3 WBZD-FM, Muncy.
“I am definitely shocked and surprised,” said the newly crowned Laurel Queen.
The 10 semi-finalists were each asked one question during the coronation ceremony. In response to her question about what qualities she thought a person should embody to become President of the United States, Miss Diehl, the daughter of Aimee and Lance Diehl of Millville, stated, “As President, a person should have integrity, be honest and pursue ways to aid people within and outside our country.”
Miss Diehl’s dad learned that his daughter is the first Laurel Queen from Millville in 60 years. “Carol Bowman Kauffman, Miss Millville in 1959, was crowned Laurel Queen. “My dad and her brother were neighbors and friends growing up, so my dad went online to see what year she had won. “That was exciting for me to find out,” Miss Diehl said, adding, “I’m very proud to bring the title back to Millville. That’s pretty cool.”
When asked if she had made friends while in Wellsboro, Miss Diehl noted that all of the contestants had created a group chat. “We’ve been talking all weekend and gotten very close over the past three days,” she said.
Her favorite part of the weekend was during the Queen’s Preview when the candidates were on the outdoor stage. “We were all dancing and playing music. It was really nice to let loose and have fun.”
Miss Diehl will be a senior at Millville High this fall. As a freshman, sophomore, and junior, Miss Diehl has been on the distinguished honor roll and a member of chorus, drama club and student council (inducted in eighth grade, president as a junior), played on the varsity basketball team (starter freshman through junior year, captain as a junior) and active in the Mill-Green United Methodist Church Youth Group. In her junior year, Miss Diehl played varsity softball, was a member of the National Honor Society (will be president as a senior), of the French Honor Society and SADD, and took college classes through Bloomsburg University by participating in the STEM program there. Following graduation in 2020, she plans to attend a four-year college and is considering speech pathology or marketing as a career.
Representing New Covenant Academy in Mansfield was Miss Colegrove. “I am very excited. I didn’t expect to be a semifinalist or be the first runner-up. It is a pretty big deal to me to make it this far and to represent my school this way,” she said.
“It was so much fun getting to know the contestants. All of us have been getting along. It was amazing that there has been no drama. We were all excited for each other and wanted each other to win.”
For her question as a semi-finalist, Miss Colegrove was asked to give her opinion about year-round schooling. She was not in favor of it citing the need for a summer break “to collect your thoughts, learn about yourself and others around you, have new experiences or to get a job to earn money to help with your future.”
The daughter of Brenda and Harry Colegrove of Liberty, she will attend Messiah College this fall and major in theatre. All four years of high school, Miss Colegrove was on the honor roll, played soccer, was a worship team, chorus and Liberty Community 4-H member, dance instructor, Sunday school teacher and a volunteer at the homeless shelter. Miss Colegrove is active in the arts with interests in dancing, songwriting, guitar playing, writing, and acting. As a junior and senior, she was a member of the Pine Creek Dance Collective and as a senior danced in the Dance the World Christmas Edition at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida. She has worked at Wendy’s as a cashier and cook, and at First Citizens Community Bank.
Asked how it felt to be a semi-finalist and be named second runner-up,” Miss Wilson stated, “I am thankful for the opportunity to be here, to meet everyone and have a chance to represent Liberty in this way.”
Her question as a semi-finalist was what was she passionate about and how could she use it to help others in her community. Miss Wilson said she was passionate about art and thanks to a fundraiser held by her art teacher for the past several years, she has helped create bowls and mugs that were sold and the money used to help those in need. “Being able to help people through my passion of art is really amazing,” she said.
Asked about the one thing that stood out to her the most, Miss Wilson said, “All the friendships I’ve made. We have a group chat and we’re already texting each other and asking more questions. It’s really cool.”
Miss Wilson, the daughter of Shaun Wilson of Liberty and Jessica Force of Mansfield, has joined the U.S Army as a 92Y unit supply specialist. She will leave Aug. 26 for boot camp at Jackson, South Carolina and then be stationed at Fort Lee, Va. All four years of high school, she was a track and field team member and worked at the Penn Wells Hotel in Wellsboro.
For the last three years, she was a member of Future Business Leaders of America, student council, and participated in school musicals and plays. As a junior and senior, she was on the soccer team, a member of the National Honor Society, Key Club, Culture Club and Battle of the Books (placed first as a junior), and a Special Olympics volunteer.
“When they said I had been chosen Miss Congeniality, I couldn’t believe it,” said Miss Carleton, the daughter of Shadel and Thomas Carleton of Wellsboro.
At first I was shocked and then excited. It is awesome,” she said.
“When we went to the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon and I saw the other candidates’ eyes light up when they saw how pretty it is and how amazed they were by it, I realized how much I take it for granted. It gave me a whole new love for and pride in my town. Getting to know all of these girls and keeping in touch has been a great experience for me.”
This fall, Miss Carleton will attend Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. with a double major in Spanish education and teaching English as a second language. Her goal is to become a missionary and teach English to Spanish-speaking children in developing countries.
All four years of high school Miss Carleton was on the distinguished honor roll; in chorus (vice president as a senior); a choral piano accompanist; a member of student council (community representative as a senior); sang with her church choir; studied ballet and modern dance with Steps of Expression and was a member of the Dance Rush competition dance team (jazz group team captain as a junior; modern group team captain as a senior) and was employed as a Wellsboro Area School District crossing guard. As a sophomore, junior and senior she was in Connect 4, a student mentoring and peer support group and sang soprano in the Women’s Ensemble; as a junior and senior was a National Honor Society member, sang with the Dickens Ensemble and played trombone in concert and jazz band; and as a senior played trombone in the pit orchestra for the school musical, won a spot as a soprano at District Chorus and received a First Heritage Federal Credit Union Everyday Hero award.
Laurel Queen Semi-Finalists
The 10 semi-finalists included the 2019 Laurel Queen, first runner-up and second runner-up plus Miss Bucktail Aaliyah McGowan of Renovo, Miss Canton Samantha Proseus of Canton Township, Miss Coudersport Briana Butler of Coudersport, Miss Galeton Kelsey Bennett of West Pike Township, Miss Muncy Amber Weigle of Muncy Township, Miss South Williamsport Jovanna Fagnano of South Williamsport and Miss Williamson Ella Durst of Nelson Township.
Laurel Parade Winners
The Parade Marshal Award was presented to Skyliners Drum & Bugle Corps of Kingston, Pa.
First in High School Bands, under 60 musicians wasthe Wellsville Marching Lions of Wellsville, N.Y.
First in High School Bands, 60 musicians and over was the Corning-Painted Post Hawks Marching Band of Corning, New York and second, the Jasper-Troupsburg (New York) Marching Band.
In the Professional Band category, first was the Mighty St. Joe’s Alumni Drum and Bugle Corps of LeRoy, N.Y.; second, Edward P. Maloney Memorial Pipe Band of Vestal, N.Y.; and third, Prime Time Brass of Rochester, N.Y.
In the Community Float Division, first was the Wellsboro Rotary Club and second, the Abplanalp Family.
Earning the Specialty Music Unit Award was the Hit Men Brass Band of Rochester, N.Y.
The Special Unit Award was presented to the Bucktails 1st Pennsylvania Rifles Company E of Mansfield, Pa.
The Antique/Classic Car Award was presented to a 1931 Model A Coupe owned by John and Kay Brosey.