Your 2018 Queen of Candles court

By on June 20, 2018

This year marks the 77th Queen of the Candles Pageant. The pageant is sponsored by Listrak and arranged by the Lititz Woman’s Club. Twelve young ladies, who are all members of the Warwick High School class of 2018, are selected by their classmates through a secret ballot.

The first in-person look at the court will be at the Lititz Lions parade on July 3 which begins at 6:30 p.m.

Once crowned, the 2018 Queen will light her candle and then ignite the other candles held by members of her court. Boy Scouts from the Lititz area will then help illuminate the rest of the candles which will adorn the Lititz Springs Park and will help light up the night.

The 2017 reigning Queen of Candles Kayla Rohrbach will also be on hand to crown the new queen that evening. Rohrbach is excited to be back onstage to represent her title this year. Kayla just completed her freshmen year of nursing school at Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences and will be graduating as a Registered Nurse next spring (spring of 2019). She plans to start working while pursuing a Bachelor’s degree of Science in Nursing in the following two years. Ultimately, she would love to work as a pediatric nurse in a big city.

This summer she has the opportunity to take part in an internship at Schreiber Pediatric Center, where she’ll be working with kids at their summer camp. She will also be spending some of her days working at a local farmer’s market and volunteering at Citygate Free Lunch Café in Lancaster. In her free time, she loves to take part in any activities outdoors, specifically running.



The members of the 2018 Queen of Candles Court are: First row (left to right): Jayden Lepisto (Crown Bearer),  Ruby Strayer, (Flower Girl). 2nd Row (l to r): Kaitlyn Pyle, Melissa Gibble, Paige Bogda, Lilly Shaffer, Elizabeth Wash, Jensen Hodecker. 3rd Row (l to r): Talia Bertrando, McKenzie Cossette, Lauryn Ober, Peyton Hamilton, Amanda Herr, Trinity McFarlane.  Photo by TJ Kulish of Tabitha Joy Photography.   

This year’s court includes:

Talia Bertrando
Talia was the secretary of the class of 2018 and a member of the National Honor, National English, National Spanish and the Tri M Music Honor societies. She was the captain of the Warwick girls soccer and lacrosse teams and the Warwick nominee for the Lancaster Lebanon League A, Landis Brackbill Scholar Athlete Award. Talia also captained the Warriorettes dance team. She participated in the Warwick Show Choir, and was secretary of concert choir and dances at Encore Dance Studio.
Talia is active in the community, serving as President of the Interact Club, participating in PALS and FBLA. She was honored as the Lititz Rotary club’s student of the month in January. She is an active member of the Lititz Church of the Brethren where she volunteers in the children’s department. She also traveled to Nicaragua on a Warwick service trip. Talia will attend Juniata College to pursue a business degree while playing soccer and lacrosse for the Eagles.

Paige Bogda
Paige was elected the student school board representative and manager of the Boys’ Soccer team. As a member of the student council for three years, she was able to help plan homecoming. She is a member of the National Honor Society where she volunteers in the community. Next year, Paige will be staying in Italy for the fall to learn Italian and will travel to Costa Rica in the spring to volunteer for a conservation project. After she is done traveling, she plans to go to school for nursing to become a pediatric nurse anesthetist. She is grateful for her closest friends and family for their support and love, and is excited to start the first chapter of adulthood.

McKenzie Cossette
McKenzie is a member of the National Honor Society, National Business Honor Society, National Spanish Honor Society, Link Crew, Student Council Secretary and overall co-chairperson of UNITE. She was captain of the volleyball team and was also selected as Section One All-Star and All-State. She was also crowned the Homecoming Queen for 2017. Outside of school, she is an active member of St. James Catholic Church and works at the National Wrestling Coaches Association over the summer. In the fall, McKenzie will be attending the University of Tennessee to major in business management and minor in Spanish.

Melissa Gibble
Melissa played Warwick soccer and was named Academic All-Star. She is involved in many clubs including National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, National Science Honor Society, and HYPE and link crew. She is treasurer for the class of 2018. Outside of school, she enjoys being a waitress at Tomato Pie Cafe. Melissa plans to attend Boston University in the fall to major in engineering.

Peyton Hamilton
Peyton has been on the Honor Roll all four years of high school. She is employed by Isabella’s Ice Cream Parlor as well as Aerie. She enjoys modeling and would like to continue her modeling career after high school. She enjoys traveling to the beach with her family and is always looking for new adventures. Peyton will attend college after high school to further her academics and obtain a degree in the medical field.

Amanda Herr
Amanda is on the Distinguished Honor Roll and is a member of the National Art Honor Society. She was selected as the Art Student of the Month in November. She participated in presenting her artwork at Fine Arts Day at Lititz Elementary in April. She plays softball for the Warwick High School varsity softball team along with the Spooky Nook Gold tournament travel team. She likes helping with the Warwick Youth Girls Softball Association and was selected as the Student Athlete of the Week the first week of April. She also dances at Pulse Dance Studio. In her free time, Amanda enjoys drawing and painting, spending time with her family, and hanging out with her friends. After high school, Amanda plans to attend Saint Joseph’s University to continue her softball career and academic career by studying a dual major of elementary and special education.

Jensen Hodecker
During her senior year, Jensen was actively involved in Interact, National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society (with which she traveled on a service trip to Nicaragua), and Science National Honor Society. She also participated in Warwick’s open campus program where she shadowed medical professionals at UPMC Lititz. She achieved Distinguished Honor Roll throughout her senior year and was a representative on the Homecoming Court. Outside of school, Jensen works part time at CVS Pharmacy. She will be attending Thomas Jefferson University this fall to pursue a degree in Health Sciences with a goal of becoming a Physician Assistant.

Trinity McFarlane
During her senior year, Trinity has been active in many clubs, her favorite being UNITE, in which she was a committee chair planning Warwick High School’s mini-THON. She was also voted publicist of National Art Honor Society and participated in other clubs such as National English Honor Society and Link Crew. She collaborated with other students in helping plan her school’s walkout to honor those lost to gun violence. She enjoys time with her youth group at Lancaster Evangelical Free Church, a group that she has been a part of for over six years. After high school, she plans to work with Horizon Initiative, a non-profit organization that builds micro-communities for orphaned children. She also hopes to travel abroad and study marketing and sales in Scotland, where her father grew up.

Lauryn Ober
Lauryn swims year round for the Five Star Swim Club, Woodridge Swim Team, and Warwick High School Swim Team. She was voted Captain of the WHS Swim Team this year and was awarded the Warrior Award by her coaches. Lauryn was named to the LL All-League Team, was a League Medalist, District Medalist, and a State Qualifier, where she was part of the school record-breaking 400 free relay team. She has been a member of the Link Crew for the past two years, and was honored to be chosen as a Link Crew Ambassador this year. Lauryn has enjoyed being a part of Powder Puff Football Team and participated in Mini-Thon for kids with childhood cancer. She has been on the distinguished honor roll and is a member of the Lititz United Methodist Church. Next fall, Lauryn will attend Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, where she plans to major in Physical Therapy and swim for the Dukes.

Kaitlyn Pyle
Throughout her senior year, Katie has been a member of Unite, Interact, Aevidum, Link Crew, Student Advisory, and a captain of the Warwick Field Hockey team. When she isn’t on the hockey field or waitressing at Isaac’s, Katie loves to spend time with her friends and family, whom she is eternally grateful for. Katie is incredibly thankful for the opportunity to participate in the Open Campus Program and spend part of her senior year at Bonfield Elementary, in Mrs. Morell’s first grade class, with some great kids; including the crown bearer, Jayden Lepisto. Katie is planning to attend Ohio State University, to major in elementary education while furthering her field hockey career. Katie would like to give a big thank you to everyone who has made her high school experience one to remember.

Lily Shaffer
During her senior year at Warwick, Lily was active in many clubs including Hype Club, Link Crew, National Honors Society, and National English Honors Society. She was a teacher’s assistant for one of her favorite teachers, Mr. Neuman. She travelled to Peru with a group of seven students on a service-learning trip. Lily was also a captain of the Warwick girls soccer team, and was awarded second team all-star during her senior season. Outside of school, Lily plays soccer for the Pennsylvania Classics, and plans to continue her soccer career at Goucher College. At Goucher, Lily plans to pursue a degree in biology with a minor in Spanish, and will study abroad to further learn the language. She would like to mention her soccer coach, Wendell Hannaford, for instilling a confidence in her that she will take with her throughout life, and to thank her parents for encouraging her to always be herself and to speak up for what she believes in.

Elizabeth Wash
Throughout her senior year, Elizabeth has been very involved in activities at Warwick, such as being a member of the National Honor Society, National Spanish Honor Society, National Art Honor Society and National English Honor Society, which she is the vice president. She is also a member of Student Council, Co-President of Interact, co-president of The Club for the Integration of the Arts, Show Choir, Glitter Girls, Production Company, Homecoming Court, Rotary Student of the Month, the Senior Class Vice President, and a member of the distinguished honor roll throughout high school. After high school, she plans to study biology at Saint Joseph’s University. Elizabeth wishes to extend thanks to her family, friends, and teachers for all they have done to help her succeed.

Ruby Strayer (Flower Girl)
Ruby has had an amazing year with Mrs. Thomson and the rest of the staff at Bonfield Elementary. She has become a great little reader and enjoys reading to the therapy dogs with Paws to Read at Lititz Library. She participated in the Bonfield talent show this year and is always putting on elaborate shows at home. She stays busy with girl scouts and gymnastics, and can be found standing on her head more often than standing on her feet.

Jayden Lepisto (Crown Bearer)
Jayden was born on the 4th of July! He just completed his first grade year in Mrs. Morell’s class at John R. Bonfield Elementary. He’s always up for a challenge and loves to learn new things and meet new people. He has many interests including Batman and everything military. He is a proud big brother to his 2-year-old sister, and can be found most often jumping on the trampoline or playing in the mud. He has a deep love for the outdoors, and loves to read books about animals. Jayden played basketball this year for the Lititz Rec Center, and loves throwing the football and trying out different sports. He attends Grace church and enjoys going to Sunday school and telling others about Jesus. He lights up the room with his sweet smile, and is always willing to help others.

Cory Van Brookhoven is a staff writer for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your comments at or 717-721-4423. 

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