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May Fete turns 100

Hilhi's centennial celebration focuses on academic achievements


COURTESY PHOTO - Hillsboro High School's 100th senior May Fete Court.One hundred years ago, Miss Eva Emmott was elected by the student body and crowned Hillsboro High School’s May Queen, where she “reigned over the activities of the day in a most gracious manner,” according to Hilhi’s archives.

One hundred years later, Mackenzie Crampton is Hilhi’s 2016 May Queen, a title bestowed in the present day to a student based on her academic achievements during her high school career, as well as her civic involvement and leadership experience.

Hilhi’s May Fete festival has morphed over the years, but it’s always been a celebration of Spartan pride, says Sarah Cole, the school’s activities director.

“We’re pretty happy and satisfied with how we’re doing it now,” Cole says. “We really want to recognize the kids’ for their academic success.”

A May Fete Court includes students from all grades, selected based on their scholarship, character, athletic and activity participation, and service to school and community.

As for Crampton, she’s thrilled to be May Queen, a well-deserved honor. Crampton is enrolled in the school’s full International Baccalaureate program and has maintained a 4.0 grade point average. She’ll graduate as a valedictorian. HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: KATHY FULLER - May Queen MacKenzie Crampton models the traditional cape and holds the scroll with the official May Fete proclamation.

Along the way, she’s been involved with the school’s Key Club, — a service club for high school students run by the Kiwanis — National Honor Society, and a club she formed called Paws and Claws to recruit students to help at area animal shelters. Crampton will attend the University of Oregon Honors College on a full scholarship.

Back in 1916, May Fete was celebrated at the conclusion of the annual County Spelling Contest.

By 1965, the celebration was revamped by teachers Ron Clark and Debbie Van Roeckel to recognize outstanding students.

The final celebration of the week is SpartQuake, a carnival-type fest with activities, food and music.

Crampton wore the traditional blue velvet cape from the 1960s and read the Queen’s Proclamation to kick off May Fete.

It’s tradition, Crampton says. And there’s a bit of superstition surrounding that tradition — the Queen must read from the original scroll (which is threadbare and splotched with green paint). If anyone besides the May Queen reads the Proclamation, superstition says it will rain on SpartQuake.

Although Hilhi is 106 or 107 years old, according to Tim Carlisle, who served as the school’s librarian, “Hilhi’s 100th birthday was kind of in question” when it rolled around.

That’s why Cole and her organizing crew of leadership students decided to take a grand approach to the school’s centennial May Fete celebration.