McNicholas celebrated its 69th annual Mardi Gras on Sunday, Feb. 15 with the crowning of King Ayden Bailey and Queen Aimee Gauger. This year’s festivities looked a little different because of the pandemic, but the tradition established by the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1952 continued.
The theme, Eyes of the World, acknowledged how important our eyes have become in making connections with others, since the other recognizable features of our faces are obscured by Covid masks. It also spoke to the beauty of perspective and how no two people see things in exactly the same way. The 56 students on the court and honor guards were celebrated for the ways that their gifts have strengthened the McNicholas community, for the connections they have made through participation and service, and for the perspectives they have shared through academics, athletics, art, writing, music, and performance.
“King Ayden exemplifies what McNicholas and the Sisters of St. Joseph represent,” English teacher Mrs. Angie Noble said. “He puts others before himself and serves for the good of serving -- not for any kind of recognition. He is also an eternal optimist -- a trait that is much needed in this world!”
Ayden is a four-year Dean’s List and Honor Roll student as well as a member of the National Honor Society. He is a two-year soccer athlete, two-year cross country athlete, a four-year track and field athlete, and a three-year theater crew member. Ayden has served his fellow students as a Hope Squad member and as a Student Council representative, including serving as president his junior year. Ayden also serves McNicholas as a Student Ambassador.
Mrs. Noble added, “I don't think I've ever heard him complain, he works well in every group, and is one of the first to volunteer from reading in class to moving books to running an errand. He listens to the ideas of others and learns for the sake of learning. Ayden is helpful and respectful and shows his authentic self every day.”
Queen Aimee is a four-year Honor Roll student and a member of National Honor Society. She is a four-year band member and a three-year choir member. Aimee has served her fellow students as a Peer Mentor, Student Council representative, and retreat leader. She has served McNicholas as a Student Ambassador, and she has served her community with over 100 hours of service.
Band Director, Mr. Keith Nance said, “Aimee is one of the most dedicated students I have had at McNick. She always shows up with a positive attitude and makes me laugh on a daily basis. She is always willing to help whenever and wherever needed. She has been a great leader and role model for the other band students; she really takes care of the younger students.”
Theology teacher, Ms. Teresa Davis, added, “Aimee is one of the kindest students I've ever known. She never leaves anyone out; she always includes everyone. She is thoughtful and hard-working, and absolutely has the best smile and laugh. She exhibits growth ‘toward Full Stature in Christ’ by her Beatitudinal living right here at McNick.”