While some George Mason High School seniors are just winding down from prom and preparing for the final rush of activities and tasks leading up to the end of the school year, two seniors are tackling an added task – representing the upcoming Memorial Day parade as its king and queen. Those seniors – Hannah Walker and Jay Rodock – were selected as Mr. and Ms. Mason earlier in the school year. With that responsibility comes the added duty of leading the Memorial Day parade.
While some George Mason High School seniors are just winding down from prom and preparing for the final rush of activities and tasks leading up to the end of the school year, two seniors are tackling an added task – representing the upcoming Memorial Day parade as its king and queen.
Those seniors – Hannah Walker and Jay Rodock – were selected as Mr. and Ms. Mason earlier in the school year. With that responsibility comes the added duty of leading the Memorial Day parade.
The pair were selected during Revive Week, a winter spirit week filled with themed days and a pep rally, not to mention the Mr. and Ms. Mason mock beauty pageant. At the pageant, teacher-nominated students from each level competed in various events to be crowned the winners of the pageant. According to Walker and Rodock, the key to their wins were their talent show performances.
What were your talents?
Jay: I took a friend, laid him down on a table and played him like a bongo. I played a bunch of different tunes, and really got into it. We were gym class partners a few years ago. He would fall asleep lying down, and I would drum on him. It spawned as a talent.
Hannah: I wrote a Dr. Seuss-style poem. It was about how our principal, Mr. Byrd, lost his Blackberry and the Grinch stole it. I wrote about the different teachers as different animals and characters.
Jay: Other people had normal talents.
Hannah: Ours were the most random ones.
How do you feel about being in the parade?
Jay: I’ve been practicing my “queen wave” in the mirror. Hopefully I’ll be able to pull that one out.
Hannah: At prom, I was practicing smiling, so my jaw has basically been glued in that position. I’m actually pretty nervous.
What activities are you involved in at Mason?
Jay: I’m on the tennis team, I’m in the band as a trombonist, and I was co-founder of George Mason’s first-ever poker club.
Hannah: I’m on the soccer team, and I’m also in the band as a percussionist.
What are your favorite classes?
Jay: I like my math and physics classes. They both have like 10 kids in them, and we have a lot of fun.
Hannah: My favorite class this year is my IB history class. I also really like my English class because it is at the end of the day, so everyone is acting goofy, and my best friend is in it. But I’m a history buff, so I really like history.
What are your favorite Mason memories?
Hannah: My entire eighth-grade year was cool. My brother was a senior, so I felt really cool. It was the part of school where your insecurities haven’t set in, so you could just be a goofball, and you were in all of these classes with all of these different people. And having PE class was fun. I miss that. The girls soccer team tournament has always been a lot of fun, especially since we have won three of them.
Jay: I always look forward every year to the state tennis tournament, and that’s always a lot of fun.
What are your plans after graduation?
Hannah: I will be playing Division 3 soccer at Macalester College. I want to keep [my field of study] broad, and I’m looking more into the social sciences and international relations.
Jay: I will be going to The Ohio State University to study business and make the most of my last few years of adolescence.
What advice do you give to next year’s aspiring Mr. and Ms. Mason?
Hannah: In the talent portion, it’s especially important to be simple and funny, because sometimes the funniest ones are the short, awkward, weird ones.
Jay: I’d say it’s not a popularity contest; it’s about how funny and creative you can be.
What message would you like to send, as King and Queen, to your subjects?
Hannah: How cool going to Mason is. The fact that there is a direct correlation between being the King and Queen of the parade and being Mr. and Ms. Mason at Mason shows how cool it is. It would also be cool to be a role model for the kids in the stands, and as I’m throwing candy at them, having them say “wow, that girl is cool, I want to be just like her.”
Jay: I’d say just to have fun. That’s how we have this position in the first place. Just have fun with it.
Why should the Falls Church community come out and see the parade?
Hannah: We’re bringing candy! No, I’m kidding. For me, Memorial Day is like the day in Falls Church and the parade is a classic example of how Falls Church is. I guarantee I will recognize so many people there. It shows how close our community is.
Jay: Come for the chicken on a stick.