In 1999, Shani Smith, was named the 47th annual USVI Carnival Queen, after competing against 8 other contestants. The victory was over due for the Charlotte Amalie High school, since 1995- 1998, because throughout that time, other institutions such as All Saints Cathedral and Ivanna Eudora Kean High school held the tittle. In 1999, no one could have imagine a generation later that the Charlotte Amalie High School would have 16 consecutive winners of the prestigious tittle.
On Saturday April, 19, 2014, Deja’Nique Navarro made the sweet 16 dream a reality for her high school. This was not the first time, Ms Navarro won a Carnival tittle. She also made Carnival history, becoming the first Carnival Princess to become Carnival Queen , in the 62 year history of the annual festival. In 2005, Navarro was crowned Carnival Princess. In 2010, she was a first runner up in the Junior Calypso competition. In 2013, she was named Miss Charlotte Amalie High School.
Navarro also won four out of six awards, including Best Cultural Costume, Best Evening Wear and Miss Intellect. Her court includes two other CAHS seniors: 17-year-old Madainia Tavernier, the second runner up, and 17-year-old Aliyah Dessout, who was selected first runner up.
A special mention was Contestant #4 Ms. Tori Huyghue, who performed this year with a broken arm and was, during the talent section, still able to play her piano and steel pan one-handed. She modeled her swimsuit and evening wear with a decorative cast, which matched her various costumes.
While Navarro also won Best Evening Wear for a turquoise couture gown dressed up with sequins, rhinestones and crystals, Tavernier’s gold gown also caught the attention of the crowd. Tavernier is a major with CAHS’ Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps, and her costume was a tribute to the troops, according to her announcer, symbolizing freedom.
Navarro was very eloquent during the question, with a 3 part answer which defined her platform of Social Media and Tourism. Each contestant spoke passionately during this segment, with Dessout discussing mental illness, Tavernier speaking about verbal abuse, Huyghue advocating against domestic violence and Richards educating the crowd about the consequences of childhood obesity.
This was a special show, with a talented group of contestants, who exhibited poise, beauty, bravery, and intellect. This was not only a sweet 16 for the Charlotte Amalie High School, but for the young women of the US Virgin Islands.
Sources: St Thomas Source