Jessica Pcionek crowned Elba's Onion Queen
(From left: First runner-up Ryleigh Rowcliffe, Onion Queen Jessica Pcionek, and Second runner-up Molly Geissler.)
When Jessica Pcionek was crowned Onion Queen on Saturday night, she couldn't believe it was actually happening.
"I was thinking about how I used to always go watch the Onion Queen contest when I was little, but I never really thought I would be up there doing it myself," Pcionek says. "I was shocked, but really excited at the same time because one of the dreams from my childhood came true."
Jessica is the daughter of James and Joyce Pcionek and has one sister, Jamie. She is employed at Post Farms and is a member of the Center Stage Dance Company.
She volunteers with SADD and at the Batavia Youth Bureau and is involved in many school activities including National Honor Society, Future Teachers Association, Friends of Rachel, Library Club, Drama Club, Senior High Chorus, Spirit Club, and Varsity football cheerleading.
She plans to attend a four-year college to major in education.
The dream did not come true without hard work on Jessica's part, although she insists the whole process was "really fun."
"I had to write two essays and do four hours of community service, and then we had to go to a dinner interview and answer some questions. Then basically after that we just did the parade, rode on the float, and threw candy, which was really, really fun."
The other contestants were her classmates Ryleigh Rowcliffe, Racheal Cook, Molly Geissler and Jessica Hickey. The contest was open to incoming senior girls at Elba Central School.
"They're all my friends and I was hoping for the best for all of them," Pcionek says. "We had a lot of fun together and it's not like anyone holds a grudge or anything because we're all really good friends. I know no matter who would have won, we would have been happy for each other no matter what."
The newly crowned Queen says she loves Elba because of its size and the close-knit feeling.
"It's a nice small community and everyone's really friendly and they're able to help you out if you get lost or something -- well, it's not like you'd really get lost in Elba in the first place. But you don't feel like you're just a number like you do in a bigger city. You get that community feel."
First runner-up Ryleigh Rowcliffe is the daughter of Garth and Mary Rowcliffe. She has two sisters, Alexandra and Meghan, and works for Oak Orchard Dairy.
She volunteers at Bezon Farms and Genesee Valley BOCES. She is involved in many activities including 4-H, FFA, and GAA. She plays varsity softball, soccer and basketball.
Ryleigh plans to attend school out of state to become a large-animal veterinarian specializing in dairy and beef cattle.
Second runner-up Molly Geissler is the daughter of David and Jane Geissler. She has one brother, Matt, and volunteers for the Elba Sports Boosters and the Oakfield Turkey Trot.
Molly is involved in many school activities including Varsity soccer, softball, and basketball. She is a member of the Future Teachers Association, National Honor Society and the Girls Athletic Association.
She will be attending the Health Careers Academy during her senior year. Molly plans to attend college to become a registered nurse.