Even after spending 17 years at LHS, social studies teacher Mrs. Prough has never attended the annual Mr. LHS pageant.
But as the production makes its comeback after being postponed for two years, Prough will get to experience the show for the first time from the best seats in the house: the judges table.
“I haven’t been to a Mr. LHS,” Prough said. “It’s my first one and I’m so excited for that. I’m also looking forward to seeing all the amazing talents that the Mr. LHS candidates are going to bring to the stage. I think it’s going to be a fun evening.”
Although Prough is excited to be a part of the show, the circus theme wouldn’t have been her first pick due to her fear of clowns.
“I’ve been afraid of clowns my entire life,” Prough said. “I’m a little afraid of how many clowns there might be, but I promise I won’t run out screaming. I’ll try to, I mean I will, conquer my fear for all of you.”
Knowing that there’s bound to be a couple of clowns amongst the show boys, Prough is preparing herself to be an impartial judge, even if they happen to scare her.
“Here’s the thing, I’m going to have to break my bias [to judge],” Prough said. “Sometimes nice clowns are even scarier. So if [the candidates] actually try to be scary, I won’t be as scared of them. It’s the real clowns that are frightening. So [the candidates] should just be funny and not look me right in the eye and I should be okay.”
Although Prough is nervous for the show due to her fear of clowns, she doesn’t want the boys to be. No matter the outcome, Prough just wants them to enjoy their time in the spotlight.
“Just have fun,” Prough said. “I want everyone to have a good time and have a great night.”
History teacher Mr.Willis will be another judge this year who will be searching for the best representative of Lancer Nation.
“He is Mr.LHS, he’s someone who stands for everything that’s good and crazy about us,” Mr. Willis said.
Mr. Willis is a returning judge who is excited to be back in the swing of things.
“I am excited to be returning as a judge especially since we’ve been out of it for a couple of years with the pandemic. This is just one more step to getting back to where we need to be,” Willis said.
This time around Willis thinks “there’s no substitute for experience,”
“I know I’ve seen a lot of things as a spectator and a judge and I just hope to bring all that experience to the competition. I have a standard that I can hold these contestants too,” Willis said.
Mr. Willis is especially looking forward to the talent portion, hoping to see a different side of each contestant.
“I think seeing these guys express themselves and their unique individual ways and just having some fun, so I’m very much looking forward to the talent competition and the group dance,” Willis said.
After joining the football team’s coaching staff three years ago and being an integral part of two championship runs, Mr. Zachary Capobianco is currently in his first year as a full-time teacher at LHS, and has quickly become a favorite to many.
Capobianco, better known simply as Cap, first joined the football staff as the current group of seniors were sophomores. He began developing relationships with these student athletes at the time, and was able to teach the rest of the grade in his first year as an English teacher.
“I feel a really strong bond with this particular senior class and I’m excited to see some of the young men in that class show their talents to the world,” Cap said.
Cap attended LHS as a student and has now returned as a teacher, but he has yet to attend a Mr. LHS competition. Though this may raise concern on whether he is qualified to judge such a prestigious event, Cap seems to be well versed in this style of competition.
“I think in a talent show like this, usually the best acts are the ones that engage the audience and are funny,” Cap said. “I’d appreciate a good comedic routine.”
Not only has Cap not been to a Mr. LHS, he hasn’t even been to a circus.
“I saw Nightmare Alley recently, that’s about as close as I get to the circus,” Cap said. “This is a radically new experience for me.”
With what Cap lacks in circus experience, he makes up for with his genius and philosophical mind that is always spewing wisdom.
“If you consume too much dairy at one time, then that poses a health risk, so I would be nervous for any dairy based acts,” Cap said.
With insight like that, we are truly blessed to welcome Cap as a judge for this year’s competition. You may also get to see a lot more than just smarts on display when Cap takes the stage as the judge, jury, and executioner.
“You can find a different side,” Cap said. “I’m a pretty complex person on all sides.”
After last year marking the cancellation of Mr. LHS for the second year in a row, wellness teacher Mrs. Tebbetts, who has been chosen as a judge for this year’s event, enthusiastically anticipates the lively entertainment, and sense of community that this night entails.
“I am just so excited that Mr. LHS is back,” Tebbetts said. “It’s been a joyful school celebration in the past, and I believe that this spring will be a wonderful and positive event.”
Tebbetts has been a teacher at LHS for 13 years, and though she’s thought about being a judge for Mr. LHS before, a part of her has always been speculative of her ability to see past each one of the candidate’s individual dedication.
“I was always uncertain if I could be up to the challenge of judging when I am already extremely impressed by the candidates for putting themselves out there, getting up on stage, and committing to be a part of this event,” Tebbetts said.
But this year, Tebbetts is enthusiastic about her newfound role, and says that she hopes to be a “supportive, fair and kind judge,” so that she may influence others to do so as well.
Tebbetts said that she’s seen how much of a “special bond” the candidates get to share while being “part of the experience together.” She also said that the audience and judges play substantial roles when it comes to sustaining the ambiance of the event.
“The crowd has been enthusiastic and encouraging, and the judges have been witty and fun,” Tebbetts said.
Feeling prepared to judge fairly throughout Mr. LHS, Tebbetts said that she encourages the contestants to stay “true to who they are,” and to make the night a wonderful senior memory that they can look back on.
“Have fun, and be funny, but not at another person’s expense,” Tebbetts said. “I would also advise the candidates to embrace these senior year moments, smile, and invite their families to be part of the audience.”