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Mr. James River Pageant: Capstone Project


Shawdee Bakhtiari and Gabby Raymond have always had a love for performing, entertaining, and making people laugh. Couple that with their admiration for the James River community, there was no doubt they would continue James River High School’s legacy and take over the annual Mr. James River Pageant. As seniors in the Center for Leadership and International Relations, they were so excited to take over this Capstone Project and make it their own.

The 2018 Mr. James River Pageant: Reign of the Rapids was held on November 30, 2018 and was a night filled with talent, laughs, and

entertainment. It was all for a great cause too. All of the proceeds from the event benefited the John B. Titus Scholarship Fund, a $1,000 scholarship for a James River student towards higher education. Shawdee and Gabby were able to raise the upwards of $1,300 for the Scholarship Fund.

Furthermore, they were able to give back to the James River community by creating an enjoyable and excitable night for not only the audience but the participants. This event was hosted by two former Mr. James River Pageant Champions, Jake Lester and Max Nygaard. There were 10 contestants who competed in a question and answer round, a lip sync round, a talent portion, and finally a minute-to-win-it challenge. The judges' panel consisted of James River’s very own principal, Dr. Coleman, as well as Leadership teacher, Mr. Hannum, and Ms. Byrnside, the original Capstone Founder. These judges were amazing and after their tabulation, they crowned senior Carson Nelson as the 2018 Mr. James River.

After a very successful night, Shawdee and Gabby are very thankful they were able to not only raise school spirit and morale but give back to such a worthy cause. They would like to thank all their participants, volunteers, judges, advisors, and audience members who made this event possible.


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