Confidence. Poise. Personality. Intelligence. As with any beauty pageant contestant, the Miss Loveland Valentine must possess these qualities and more. But the Miss Loveland Valentine competition is hardly a beauty pageant.
Instead of parading in bathing suits and evening gowns, they are chosen for their leadership and public speaking skills and their impact on their schools and the community, said Kathryn Roth, information coordinator at the Loveland Chamber of Commerce.
Maggie Workman, a 17-year-old senior at Loveland High School, was selected to be Miss Loveland Valentine for 2006.
In 1962, Loveland Chamber of Commerce President Ted Thompson designed the position of Miss Loveland Valentine as a scholarship-based program. Thompson also started the Loveland Valentine Remailing Program, an event in which Miss Loveland Valentine and Workman participate.
Nominated by peers and teachers, three girls are chosen from each of the Loveland area high schools every year to represent the community. Community business owners and leaders interview prospective candidates, who also present a speech the same day in front of the Thompson Valley Rotary Club. The teenager with the highest score is chosen to be the "Ambassador for Loveland" from mid-November to early March.
"The idea was for a promising young person to represent what was valuable about the community," Roth said.
Workman is an active participant in her school's volleyball, golf and track teams. She also enjoys tutoring elementary school children. Next year, she will attend Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., on a volleyball scholarship.
Workman has been busy participating in local events and making appearances to local clubs, churches and schools. She will even give a speech before the Colorado House of Representatives and Senate and meet with the governor.
"I'm having a lot of fun," Workman said. "I love meeting new people."
Workman admitted she didn't know much about the Miss Loveland Valentine program at first.
"It's interesting getting to know more about the community and the people who are a part of it," she said.
Brooke Thomas, Workman's school counselor, nominated her for the role of Miss Loveland Valentine. Even though Thomas is new to Loveland High School and hasn't known Workman very long, she found that Workman stood out among her peers.
"Maggie's a great student and a great athlete, and she balances both lifestyles very well," Thomas said. "She's a shining star, and I thought she would do a great job of representing the community."
Amber Baker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.