University to welcome students during signature events
PUBLISHED: AUGUST 20, 2014 | 11:17 AM
Florida State University will welcome incoming first-year students from its main campus and Panama City, Fla., campus during the annual New Student Convocation and Backyard Barbecue on Sunday, Aug. 24.
New Student Convocation 2014 will welcome the Class of 2018 and all new students into the university’s community of scholars, with an emphasis on its traditions and values. It begins at 1:30 p.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center, but the doors will open at noon. In addition to new students and their families, the entire university community and the general public are invited to attend. Students are encouraged to arrive early; attendance increases each year for this event and a record number of students is expected.
During the ceremony, Interim President Garnett S. Stokes will greet the students and Interim Provost and Vice President for Faculty Development and Advancement Sally McRorie will give a charge to the Class of 2018, encouraging its members to take full advantage of the academic opportunities that are available to them.
Internationally known human right advocate Terence C. “Terry” Coonan, executive director of Florida State’s Center for the Advancement of Human Rights, will deliver the convocation address.
Afterward, Dean of Undergraduate Studies Karen Laughlin will lead the Torch Ceremony and the recitation of the university’s Academic Honor Policy Pledge.
During the Torch Ceremony, three upperclassmen will pass torches to three first-year students, symbolically passing the university’s ideals from one class to the next. The torches stand for Vires (strength), Artes (skill) and Mores (character) as depicted in the Florida State University seal. The upperclassmen will be Daniel Stribling (Vires), Daniel Ruiz (Artes) and Rachel Crooks (Mores). The first-year students, chosen on the basis of essays they wrote about the qualities of the three torches and how they connect with the history and culture of the Seminole Tribe, will be Leila Sabet (Vires), Nicholas Bastidas (Artes) and Alexandra Taggart (Mores). Incoming School of Theatre student Ian Sicks will read the winning essays.
Following this, Vice President for Student Affairs Mary Coburn will lead the Convocation Class Pin Ceremony and the recitation of the university’s Seminole Creed. She also will discuss the university’s Uphold the Garnet and Gold philosophy of respect for the dignity and worth of each member of the university community.
Later during the ceremony, students will be taught to sing the Alma Mater, “High o’er the Towering Pines” with assistance from College of Music Professor Kevin Fenton and incoming music student Driss Ziane.
When the program concludes, buses will be available to transport students from the Civic Center to the President’s House for this year’s Backyard Barbecue, a display of Florida State’s Southern hospitality to make incoming students feel at home on campus. It will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. at the President’s House, 1030 W. Tennessee St. Interim President Stokes and the deans of the university’s colleges will attend, and there will be food, fun and entertainment for incoming students and their families.
To make meeting new classmates and finding their dean easier, each student will be given a T-shirt that is color-coded to the college in which he or she enrolled. All new students should wear these special T-shirts to both the New Student Convocation and the Backyard Barbecue, the T-shirts will be available for pickup at the front entrance of Moore Auditorium in the Oglesby Union on the following days and times: Wednesday, Aug. 20, noon to 9 p.m.; Thursday, Aug. 21, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, Aug. 22, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Saturday, Aug. 23, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
First-time contestant is PVHS’s first winner in Miss Senior High pageant
By Amanda Durish Cook
Posted Nov 27, 2013 at 3:33 PM
The 32nd edition of Jacksonville’s Miss Senior High/Miss Northeast Florida pageant crowned its first title winner from Ponte Vedra High School on Nov. 16.
Miss Ponte Vedra, Leila Sabet, along with 23 other Jacksonville-area high school girls, competed in fitness wear, evening gown and talent portions of the Saturday contest hosted by the First Coast Woman’s Club and held at the Thrasher-Horne Center for the Arts in Orange Park.
Sabet, who turns 18 in January, won the Miss Ponte Vedra High School pageant in March and continued on to the Miss Senior High pageant. It was the senior’s first time competing in a pageant.
“It’s definitely very exciting. When they called my name, it didn’t occur to me right away that I was the Miss Ponte Vedra and I should respond,” Sabet said.
“I never knew anything about pageants before Leila competed in the high school pageant,” Leila’s mother, Jody Sabet said. “She was so focused on her studies and didn’t have time to think about competing in a pageant before.”
First Coast Woman’s Club also recognized Leila with the volunteer of the year award during the contest.
Sabet is president of her senior class, holds down a 4.0 grade point average, and is captain of the school dance team; she’s been involved in dance since she was 6 years old. Leila said that years of dance recitals honed her stage presence and prepared her to compete.
“I’m used to being on stage, so I was surprisingly not that nervous,” she said.
Despite a full schedule, she found time to prepare for the pageant. “I really have had to prioritize; I’m busy all the time, but I enjoy everything that I do. I’m the kind of person that, if I’m not busy, I have to find something to do.”
It was Sabet’s jazz dance routine in a circus-themed costume that stood out amid the other singers, guitarists, piano and poetry performances.
“It was a lot of amazing talent on that stage,” Jody Sabet said.
Jody Sabet also said that the pageant offered her daughter a surprising amount of real world preparation and experience. During the interview portion of the contest, she noticed that the girls fielded questions about themselves much like a job interview.
The representatives competing were also required to have a platform, and Sabet chose heart disease, an issue that she holds close.
“The reason I chose heart disease is because my dad was diagnosed a few years ago. Heart disease prevention and heart health are issues that I’m super passionate about,” Leila said.
Sabet runs Heart-to-Heart, a Facebook community page that offers heart disease prevention information and healthy recipes.
In June, winners Sabet and Miss Stanton - first runner-up Alexus Williamson - will travel to the Miss Florida pageant in St. Petersburg. The Miss Florida pageant is affiliated with Miss America.
“She was so excited. It’s all been so fabulous,” Jody Sabet said. “It’s surprising how supportive all the girls were of one another even though they were competing against each other. That’s what Leila’s found. She made friends from girls from other high schools that she never would have met otherwise.”
Leila said she is “honored to be the first Miss Ponte Vedra to be crowned Miss Senior High.”
“I cannot wrap my head around the fact that I will be competing for the title of Miss Florida this summer. It’s incredible how a high school pageant has opened so many doors for me,” she said.
As part of her title, Sabet will make appearances throughout the year, including an upcoming St. Augustine parade, a Nease High School pageant, and a Christmas dance with Miss Sunshine at The Jacksonville Landing.
Amanda Durish Cook: (904) 359-4665