The Mid-county Memo asked Kiara Johnson, Parkrose High School’s first Queen of Rosaria, to tell us how she plans to use this platform to promote her school and the Parkrose community. In addition, we asked her what has surprised her about the experience; what has been the greatest difficulty she overcame on her journey to being queen, and whom she’d like to thank.

Queen Kiara Johnson of Parkrose will reign over the mythical land of Rosaria for one year.

Her answers:

Considering how involved I am in the Parkrose community, I am honored to represent so many amazing people. As many people know, I am involved in volleyball, track & field, Mock Trial, We the People Constitution Team, the Bronco Blaze school newspaper, CSU, Asian Youth Society and much more.

With that, I have had the unique chance of getting to know a variety of people from Parkrose. With being crowned queen, it excites me that people now have a better chance to get to know who I am, and therefore understand Parkrose.

At Parkrose, we are proud to claim that we are the most diverse public school in Oregon; however, with that comes other statistics that are well overlooked. A huge amount of the student body from Parkrose comes from low-income families, and the lack of a family connection at home is made up for at Parkrose.

There are so many students, including myself, that play multiple varsity sports and are involved in clubs, all while maintaining a part-time job. Becoming queen is one of the many accomplishments from the Class of 2018 at Parkrose.

By being queen, I hope to shed light on the brilliance of Parkrose. People that disregard Parkrose based on our statistics, before even getting to know the students, are missing out on a true sense of community.

Now that Parkrose has a Queen of Rosaria, we are being looked at. I am always eager to answer any questions people have about Parkrose. As I continue to represent the Rose Festival, I will always keep Parkrose in my mind and heart.

Being on the court has truly changed my life. The princesses and I always joked about each other’s personality types and unique mannerisms.

Aside from the jokes, I learned a lot about myself by learning about others. I truly discovered the love I have for people and how rewarding it is to fill someone’s imaginary bucket (a lesson we learned while being on the court).

The greatest difficulty was not being able to work. Before being on the court, I was working at the Shilo Inn Hotel Restaurant and relying on my paychecks every two weeks.

However, I made up for that by working part-time as a Postmates Delivery Driver. Although it was a struggle, I wouldn’t exchange it for the lifelong friendships I made with 13 other girls.

I am so thankful for the princesses and all our chaperones for the best five weeks of my life. I have learned so much about Portland, the Rose Festival, my fellow princesses and myself. I encourage any young girl to take advantage of this opportunity, because often we sell ourselves short.

The Rose Festival has shown me the true potential I have for greatness, and as queen I hope to exceed the expectations set upon me.

Kiara Johnson
2018 Queen of Rosaria