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Impact beyond the crown

Senior Cathleen Moutes named 2017 prom queen, given scholarship

Seniors+Cathleen+Moutes+and+Tori+King+pose+for+a+photo+before+prom.+Photo+courtesy+of+Kenneth+Siscon.+
Seniors Cathleen Moutes and Tori King pose for a photo before prom. Photo courtesy of Kenneth Siscon.

Seniors Cathleen Moutes and Tori King pose for a photo before prom. Photo courtesy of Kenneth Siscon.

Seniors Cathleen Moutes and Tori King pose for a photo before prom. Photo courtesy of Kenneth Siscon.

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All eyes turn toward the small platform placed in the middle of the back wall of the ballroom; the spotlights contrast it from the surrounding darkness. The voice of the announcer fills the speakers, booming across the hundreds of students seated at the tables scattered on each side of the hall. Eagerly, they await the final names to be called, the highest titles of the night.

At a table to the right of the stage sits a girl in a blue and floral dress. Her fingers tap on her phone as she prepares to hit send on a tweet, ready to declare her joking annoyance that she lost. As the quiet chatter settles, the name called echos across the room.

“Your prom queen for 2017: Cathleen Moutes.”

Stunned, the girl in question frantically clears the tweet, shoving the phone away as she approaches the stage to accept her sash and crown. Cheers and applause ring in her ears and she smiles.

“I was definitely shocked when I won,” Moutes said. “I only expected to make prom royalty, if anything at all. I thought there were a lot of people on the ballot who had a better chance than me.”

The decision to run for prom queen originally wasn’t serious. It started off as a joke with her friend, who was sitting next to Moutes when she won.

“I was so excited for her, I felt like her mom,” senior Tori King said. “I have a video of her reacting and you can hear me in the background screaming my head off because I was so happy.”

Since winning, Moutes has faced a variety of reactions and teasing from those close to her.

“My dad was definitely shocked, he didn’t believe me at first,” Moutes said. “A lot of people think it’s fun because now they get to pick on me and call me ‘queen leen’ as a play on my name. My teacher Dr. Lancaster even played “God Save the Queen” in class to mess with me.”

Movies and TV shows typically portray the prom queen as a popular girl who is obsessed with her image, a mold her friends say she breaks.

“She stands out because of the way she presents herself,” King said. “She’s so proud of the things she believes in and she doesn’t really care if people don’t like it because it’s who she is.”

Moutes also stands out from past winners in that she will receive the “Polished Crowns” scholarship, created by alumna Alexis Miller, to help with book expenses. Miller, who currently teaches first grade at Southridge Elementary, won prom queen and Miss LHS in 2007.

“I had so many people pour into me as a student leader at Lewisville High School,” Miller said. “I figured that this is just one way to say “Thank you” by paying it forward in a special way just as those who have paved the way for me.”

It is undecided whether or not this scholarship will be recurring, however its impact is expected to be long lasting.

“When Alexis gave me the scholarship I was shocked because I had never heard of it happening before,” Moutes said. “Coming from my background, as much money as I can get always helps. The fact that she was willing to put forth money for me means the world.”

After her parents divorced during her sophomore year, Moutes and her dad moved to a new house and have been on their own since. With college approaching, finances have become a larger concern.

“Even though there’s in-state tuition, it still adds up and I never wanted him to worry,” Moutes said. “I wanted to earn as much money as possible because I don’t want to put too much stress on him.”

Her dad will be covering tuition and board when she attends UT Austin in the fall to major in radio, television and film. Despite the upcoming worry, Moutes is focused on leaving a positive impact with the little time left in her senior year.

“I hope I can give even just one person a little bit of inspiration, especially an LGBT kid, that it’s possible; you just have to be yourself and let you be you,” Moutes said. “Me being gay helps other people have a reassurance to the possibilities that they could have.”

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1 Comment

One Response to “Impact beyond the crown”

  1. Elizabeth Ramsey on May 6th, 2017 5:57 PM

    Congratulations to you and to the students at LHS. I am so proud of all of you. I lI’ve these kids. Best of luck to you Ms. Moutes. Thanks to your dad for helping you grow up with love acceptance.

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