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By GWEN SISSON
Starkville Academy Senior Mallory Pitts said she was shocked, surprised and excited when they announced her name Friday night.
Pitts was crowned Starkville Academyâ€™s 2011-12 Homecoming Queen during halftime at the finale of a week of homecoming celebrations.
â€śIt means so much that my fellow classmates gave me such a high honor,â€ť Pitts said. â€śWhen I think of homecoming queen, I think of someone who represents the student body as a whole, I feel honored that my fellow classmates felt I was worthy of such an honor.â€ť
Jamie Elliott, homecoming organizer for SA, said Pitts is an exceptional young lady.
â€śWhile Mallory has only attended Starkville Academy since January 2011, she has become such a active part of our school,â€ť Elliott said. â€śMallory is a natural born leader. She is well-respected among her peers, obviously. Mallory is a beautiful Christian young woman who stands firm in her beliefs.â€ť
Elliott said Pitts epitomizes the spirit of Starkville Academy.
â€śMallory will represent Starkville Academy well and our school is more than honored to have her as our 2011 Homecoming Queen,â€ť Elliott said.
Earlier this year, Pitts was named Starkvilleâ€™s Distinguished Young Woman and later, Mississippiâ€™s Distinguished Young Woman.
At SA, Pitts serves as co-captain of SAâ€™s cheerleading squad and was named an All-Star Cheerleader at the annual UCA Cheer camp.Â She has also become active in Starkvilleâ€™s community by serving on Starkvilleâ€™s Mayorâ€™s Youth Council and Starkville Junior Auxiliary Crown Club.
â€śI am involved in Junior Auxiliary Crown Club and through this organization, we focus on the young children of Oktibbeha County,â€ť Pitts said. â€śI am also a member of Starkvilleâ€™s Mayorâ€™s Youth Council which focuses on Starkvilleâ€™s community as a whole and where the voices of Starkvilleâ€™s Youth lies. I think it is so important that the youth of Starkville areÂ well represented, and I hope that I am a part in that.â€ť
Outside of work, Pitts loves MSU sporting events.
After high school, Pitts plans to attend Mississippi State University to major in Microbiology with plans to pursue a degree in physical therapy.
In addition to the Queen, homecoming maids were honored including Senior Maid Bailey Clark, Junior Maid Laura Austin Crain and Sophomore Maid Meredith Pitts. Other members of the Homecoming Court included PeytonÂ Scrivner, Elizabeth Crissey, Maril Jackson, Sarah Beth Jones, AnnaÂ Prestridge, Kat Garrard, Tiffany Huddleston and Payton Allen.Â
Over the course of the week, Elliott polled SA students about what Homecoming Week means to them. The students said â€śHomecoming is a time for Starkville Academyâ€™s family of current and former students to come together to celebrate their years of success at SA. It allows us to bring out the fun things about our school by implementing our spirit days, our Homecoming themes, and our Homecoming parade. Homecoming is a sentimental time for our student body to reflect on what our school means to us. It is so rewarding to sit back during this week and look at where we are as a family to focus on the great things our school has done, is doing, and will do to make our life here so special.â€ť
SAâ€™s High School Secretary Jennifer Prosser was named Grand Marshal for the Homecoming Parade, held Friday morning on campus.
â€śShe is someone we all count on and is someone who does many things for students, faculty and administration and we all appreciate her,â€ť Elliott said.
The Homecoming Court was honored as part of the parade, then were treated to special homecoming brunch.
During the 2 p.m. Friday Pep Rally, D.J. Looney, three year letterman for the Mississippi State University Bulldogs, now serving as an undergraduate assistant football coach, gave a motivational talk to the student body emphasizing how to give back to the team onÂ game night.
â€śFailure is never fatal and success is never final,â€ť Looney said. â€śPlay smart, play fast, play hard and play together!â€ť