In Portland area’s Broadway Rose theater, November 7, Aspen Droesch captured the tiara, sash, and title of Mrs. Oregon, 2011. Asked what she did with the coveted prize, the elementary school teacher flashed a smile that justified the pageant judging panel’s decision. “I brought it in for show and tell,” she said. “It’s a large, sparkle-y, bling-ey crown. The kids loved it.”
Droesch’s gesture illustrates the sheer joy she experiences while working with second graders. “This is a great school,” she says of St. John Lutheran in Eagle Point. “I have just nine students in my class, so we can still do music and foreign languages.” She holds a Masters degree in teaching, yet considers it miraculous to have been hired full-time amid today’s scarcity of job openings.
The green-eyed brunette who stands 5’ 9” tall, recalls a brief modeling stint between ages twelve and fourteen. A few years later, the straight “A” student who completed Crater High School in the top 5% of her class, entered the 2006 Miss Oregon pageant. “I placed in the top ten, and .won the academic award,” she said. “Participation in the competitions paid for much of my schooling.”
She’ll probably never know how far vying for the Miss Oregon title would have taken her. Her husband, whom she refers to as “super brilliant,” proposed; she accepted. “No longer a ‘Miss,’” she said, “I thought my pageant days were over.”
Last year, Joy Huston, a friend Droesch had originally met during the “Miss” pageant days, went on to become Mrs. Oregon, 2010. At Huston’s urging, Aspen Droesch completed and submitted a lengthy, detailed application for the Mrs. Rogue Valley 2011 title. Based on their evaluations of all entrants’ replies, the judges bestowed upon her the Mrs. Rogue Valley title in August. This award automatically entered her into the running for Mrs. Oregon. Droesch then found herself among the field of eight finalists culled from various sectors’ title-winners.
Donning sarong-adorned, one-piece swimsuits, women from several areas including Salem, Portland, and Eugene, garnered points in that phase of competition.
Next, a hurried change into evening gowns for the second, twenty-five per-cent of participants’ scores from pageant judges. “We did our own hair-styling, make-up, and wardrobe details,” Droesch noted.
Last came a series of interview questions, worth 50% of each finalist’s score. These probed attitudes, opinions, accomplishments, and involvement in community service. “They asked our views on marriage, and family. They wondered about our preparedness for the job—what we would do with the title if we got it?”
Upon returning to her classroom, the newly-crowned victor said she planned to spend Thanksgiving serving dinners at Kids Unlimited. She also loves volunteering with community help organizations such as the American Red Cross.
She’ll have occasion to wear her crown and sash at numerous galas, parades and speaking engagements. On April 14, 2011, she’ll don them for the Mrs. America pageant at the secluded colonial resort called Greenbrier in West Virginia.
By F. C. Blake
Of the Independent