Successful Youth Blossoms in Shadow of Homecoming Queen


 
 

COLUMBIA, MO. - Moy Zhong shivered as she waited for the announcer’s voice to echo through the stadium - naming Rock Bridge High School’s 2018 homecoming queen. She was one of ten nominees.

Little did Zhong know that moments later she would sprint across the field, strappy heels and velvet dress in hand, as tears of joy seeped from her eyes. Soon enough, she would perform the regiment halftime show barefoot with a silver crown on her head.

Then it happened. Zhong’s name was broadcasted across the stadium, and the crowd erupted in cheer.

“It still doesn’t feel real, it’s been so surreal,” Zhong, 17, said on Oct. 12.

 

Moy Zhong poses for a portrait on Oct. 12 in the Rock Bridge High School cafeteria. As a student council member Zhong set up the homecoming dance at 2 p.m. that afternoon.

 

Zhong is a member of Student Council, Science Olympiad, Emerald Regiment, the school newspaper, Skills USA, Math Honors Society,  Science Olympiad, National Honors Society, and girls' lacrosse. But Zhong’s involvement is never for recognition - Zhong says she utilizes her activities to better herself.

“To do well and get a lot out of it, you have to put a lot into it,” Zhong said.

Student council adviser Kelley Wittenborn says Zhong is a great student.

"This year the students have just been wonderful. They are great to work with, especially Moy,” Wittenborn said.

And, her interests are varied. Zhong joined the school newspaper, The Rock, through a friend. “I’ve always been really interested in art, but until I joined the newspaper I could never really apply it,” she said.

According to Zhong, newspaper requires a different skillset compared to other classes.

“It’s more than memorizing equations or memorizing formulas,” she said.

“It’s all about creativity.”

Also, Zhong has performed for four years in the Emerald Regiment, a performance-based band. “I love performing and although it’s intense and time consuming, it makes me happy.”

Drumline feels like family, according to Zhong.

“I was in tears when I saw all the support from the band,” she said. “Hearing them all cheer my name made me feel embraced.”

Zhong’s boyfriend of two years, Kai Ford, a senior at Rock Bridge, noted that Zhong was originally hesitant about being in homecoming court, but soon changed her mindset.

“As the week went on I noticed she opened up,” he said.

“I could tell she felt more empowered knowing that she affected people’s lives,” Ford said.

To Ford, the best part of watching Zhong go through the homecoming court process was seeing her thrive.

“I was just happy to see her happy,” Ford said. “Being there for her the entire way, leading up to today, and then winning;  it was very cool to see her blossom.”

 

Moy Zhong and her fellow band members dance the makarana minutes before the start of the Rock Bridge High School omecoming game on Oct. 12. According to Zhong while the rest of the band warms up, the members of drumline dance.

Moy Zhong grabbing her regiment uniform to change into it on Oct. 12 in the Rock Bridge High School band room. Zhong is part of a specialized section of band called Emerald Regiment that focuses on Friday night halftime performances during home football games.

 
 

“To do well and get a lot out of it, you have to put a lot into it,” Zhong said.

 
 

Moy Zhong and her boyfriend Kai Ford prepare for halftime of the Rock Bridge High School homecoming game on Oct. 12. Ford and Zhong have been dating for two years after meeting each other in an AP World History class in Fall of 2017.

Student council adviser Kelley Wittenborn carries a bouquet of flowers for the currently undisclosed homecoming queen as Moy Zhong and her boyfriend Kai Ford walk down the hall towards the south exit of Rock Bridge High School on Oct. 12. Wittenborn has been the student council adviser for over four years.

Members of the Rock Bridge High School homecoming court hold hands while being photographed by student council adviser Kelley Wittenborn on Friday at Rock Bridge. Parents then took additional photos.

Previous homecoming royalty Ethan Hayes crowns Moy Zhong Rock Bridge High School’s 2018 homecoming queen on Oct. 12. Band members cheered “go Moy,” from the endzone of the field.

 
 

“I was in tears when I saw all the support from the band,” Zhong said. “Hearing them all cheer my name made me feel embraced.”

 
 

Moy Zhong pushes her xylophone off of the Rock Bridge High School football field at a game against Helias Catholic High School on Oct. 12 at Rock Bridge. The regiment enacted scenes to Michael Jackson's 1982 "Thriller" in the Emerald Regiment's performance of "When The Clock Strikes 12."

 
 

“I was just happy to see her happy…it was very cool to see her blossom,” Kai Ford said.

 

By Jacob Moscovitch