2022 Klamath Basin Potato Festival Queen Message
Potatoes are resilient, diverse, and good for your heart- much like the Klamath Basin community members. My favorite thing about potatoes is also my favorite thing about living in this community; it takes one to grow one. The Klamath Basin Potato Festival, an Oregon Heritage Tradition, celebrates our Basins’ roots and those dedicated to feeding our Country. The Queens Court allows senior girls in neighboring schools to broaden their horizons through practicing and developing writing and articulation skills and leadership and instills hard work in every contestant. To call yourself a Queen candidate is a privilege and one you’ll grow exponentially from! To the future candidates, lean into your discomforts- only then will you grow. Ask questions and go into this experience with a growth mindset; allow those you meet to pour into you. Lastly, have fun! It’s a challenging but rewarding experience- soak in all the memories you can.
I am serving as the 2023-2024 Oregon FFA State Reporter, which entails a full year of service to Oregon FFA’s 16,000 members! When I’m not traveling the state’s businesses and industries or the Country, learning about agriculture, leadership development, and facilitation skills, I’m in a classroom facilitating lesson plans to students in agricultural education programs. I will spend over 900 hours visiting 116 classrooms, facilitating lesson plans from agricultural careers to problem-solving skills. I’m blessed to have an opportunity as unique as this one to share what I know, learn what I don’t, and love on Oregon FFA members! I credit the 2022 Klamath Basin Potato Festival Queen’s Court and our community for giving me the confidence and support I needed to run for State office. I still use the skills I gained during Queens Court and rely on community members’ support to be the best me I can be during my year of service. After this year, I plan on furthering my education in Agricultural Economics and Forestry. I will always be grateful to call the Klamath Basin home, and I carry the honor of the 2022 Potato Festival Queen with me everywhere. Thank you to everyone who poured into me during the 2022 Queens Court. Your support through ticket sales, kind words, and advice has impacted me beyond measure.
Wholeheartedly, Alicia Venegas
2022 Klamath Basin Potato Festival Queen
Miss Butte Valley
Emely Ceniceros is Butte Valley High School’s Potato Festival Candidate. Emely is the oldest of three children to parents Avelino and Sandra Ceniceros, she has a younger sister, Paola, and a younger brother, Avelino. Emely has lived in Dorris, her whole life and is an active member of her community and school. She is kept busy with her academics, enrolling in dual
credit classes at the College of the Siskiyous and maintaining a 4.0 GPA. Emely plays soccer,
basketball, and track. Emely has recently taken up coaching 5-6th grade boys basketball and
mentoring struggling 6th-grade students. She is very involved within her school, having served as student body secretary, vice president, and is now the student body president for the 2023-2024 school year. Emely is also an active member of her school’s FFA chapter, having had the privilege to serve as Butte Valley FFA Chapter president, vice president, and now secretary. In addition to running for the Klamath Basin Potato Festival, Emely is also Miss Butte Valley for the Tulelake-Butte Valley Fair. After high school, Emely hopes to attend a four-year university. She is undecided on a major, originally she considered agriculture, science or business, but she has enjoyed coaching, mentoring, and working for TMS (Tiny Mighty Strong) and may want to pursue a career with kids.
Miss Crosspoint Christian
Taylor Sundet is Crosspoint Christian High School’s Potato Festival Candidate. Taylor is the youngest of three sisters and is the daughter of Bryan and Joey Sundet. Taylor is very active in her school and is a dual sport athlete, playing basketball and volleyball for Crosspoint. She has also been a part of Key Club for 3 years, is now serving as the vice president, and is a part of Crosspoint’s student council as well. Outside of school, Taylor enjoys working with horses, spending time with friends and family, and being in the sun. After high school, Taylor plans to attend college out of state and become a dental hygienist. She believes making people have brighter smiles makes the world a better place. Taylor has always had a heart for helping others and making them feel good about themselves. She is very excited to be a part of the 2023 Potato Festival representing Crosspoint and she couldn’t thank her family and God enough for getting her to where she is today. “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God” -1 Corinthians 10:31
Shylee Fernlund of Henley High School has been raised in Klamath Falls her entire life. She is the oldest daughter of Amanda Fernlund and Scott Tenold. She has a younger brother named Cash. Her parents are a team in every part of life and work hard to raise the best kids possible, as well as being very successful in everything they do. Shylee’s parents have been her biggest support system and dedicate themselves to giving her a good future. Shylee is an active member of her community and an involved student at Henley High School. She has always been what the kids call a “try-hard” when it comes to her life and education. She is currently taking honors classes and has been consistent with her grades. She is a Grand Honor Roll student and currently holds a 3.5 cumulative GPA. Aside from academics, Shylee enjoys her extracurricular activities. She is the Vice President of Henley’s Touch of Class Chamber Choir. Through Henley’s choir program, directed by Christopher Benjamin, Shylee has found a lot of success over the 5 years with the choir. Her choir won 1st place at districts, as well as 1st place at their Disney Competition this year. She is a certified member of the My Future My Choice program, Henley’s FFA, she is a proud member of Henley’s Honors Society, and she is a proud candidate for this year’s Klamath Basin Potato Festival. While these experiences pointed Shylee in the right direction, it has given her an idea of what her bright future ahead will look like. Shylee is a spirited girl who has always had a passion for singing, a love for animals, making jewelry, drawing, being outdoors, and spending time with her friends and family. She also has a drive to be successful. Shylee is driven by her parents’ old-school teachings of respecting others, working hard, and driving toward a brighter future. In doing so she plans on taking more honors classes next school year such as precalculus, patient care, and sports medicine. After graduating from Henley High School, she plans to move forward with her education in the medical field as a Medical Imaging Technician (diagnostic sonographer/radiologic technologist). She is going to attend Oregon Institute of Technology in the fall of 2024 and plans to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Radiologic Science.
Miss Klamath Union
Dakota Age of Klamath Union High School was born and raised in Klamath Falls. She is the youngest of three children to parents Rebecca Age and Russell B. Shaw. Her father works as a concrete finisher for Mathis Concrete and her mother works at the Young Men’s Christian Association preschool as a daycare provider. Dakota believes her parent’s care and compassion for the community have paved the way for her passions. She’s grateful to have the privilege of volunteering in Integral Youth Services and many other events to give back to her community, which has allowed her to understand herself and the community as a whole. At school, Dakota has been in an Advancement Via Individual Determination class since 7th grade. Throughout her AVID involvement, she has become a determined leader and student who is more prepared for college and her future. Outside of school, Dakota enjoys hanging out with family and friends, loves to sing, and has babysat since she was 13. After high school, Dakota plans to further her education and eventually become an elementary school teacher. She has a love for children, and an understanding of the developmental process of learning, and children’s behavior. She is excited and honored to represent Klamath Union in the 2023 Klamath Basin Potato Festival.
Miss Lost River
Betty Kay Overcash is Lost River High School’s Potato Festival Candidate. Betty Kay was born in Ft. Myers, Florida, she moved to Merrill when she was five years old and was raised in the Merrill/Malin area. She is the daughter of Geoffrey and Bonnie Overcash and has one brother, Charles. Her father is retired military and continues to work as a civilian at Kingsley Field Air Force Base. Her mother is employed by Work First Casualty in the work comp claims department and volunteers with Basin Volunteer Ambulance Services as an EMT, as well as a board member. Betty Kay is an honor roll student in her studies, taking dual credit classes from Klamath Community College and OIT. Betty Kay is a member of the National Honors Society, Leo’s Club, 4H, and Basin Youth for Christ. She has held an officer role in the Lost River FFA Chapter for the past five years and was most recently named vice president for the 2022-2023 school year. She also participates in volleyball, basketball, softball, and track. Outside of school Betty Kay enjoys giving back to the community that has done so much to support her over the years. She volunteers each summer to help with Vacation Bible School in both Merrill and Malin and volunteers for the annual crab feed in Merrill. She also enjoys competing in ranch work and reining with her horses, raising her small herd of meat goats, and selling at the Klamath County Fair Rotary Auction. After high school, Betty Kay plans to either go to college to obtain a degree in Equine Science or join the Coast Guard in hopes of being a rescue swimmer. She is passionate about continuing her education in a way that can help others.
Michelle Martinez is the Tulelake High School representative. She was born in Denver, Colorado, and moved to Tulelake when she was 5 years old. Michelle is the middle child of Delmy Ascencio and Antonio Martinez and has four siblings. Her mother, Delmy, works as a meat packer for Masami Foods, and her father, Antonio, works as a cow milker for a company in Bonanza. Michelle has been in the yearbook for 2 years; she is very passionate about helping with the yearbooks, making sure they look nice, so the seniors have a memory to look back at when they are older. She is also on the student council and helps with the activities going on at Tulelake High School. She loves doing student council because she can put her mind to it and make plans for pep assemblies. Student council has allowed her to become outgoing and speak her mind. Michelle is taking college classes in the fall at College of the Siskiyous, in health and nutrition. Michelle has been playing softball for Tulelake for three years and she loves the sport. Michelle has achieved some goals she never knew she could achieve. One of Michelle’s achievements was getting out of her comfort zone and becoming outgoing. After graduation, Michelle plans to attend Butte College in Chico, California, and study to become an immigration lawyer. It has always been her desire to become a lawyer since she was a child. She can’t thank her family enough for supporting her with everything she has done. Michelle is super excited and very honored to represent Tulelake in the 2023 Klamath Basin Potato Festival.