Bahry looks ahead to year as Evangeline

Michael S. Jacobs
EVANGELINE 2010...This is the official portrait, taken by Paul Bouy, of the 2010 International Acadian Festival queen, EVANGELINE MADDIE BAHRY.

Maddie Bahry believed her freshman year would go down as the best in her high school career, but she never anticipated what the senior year would bring her.

Bahry expected softball, cheerleading and graduation would highlight her final year at St. John High School. But she learned just over a month ago that her senior year would figure even busier and more memorable.

The water ceremony and formal presentation Saturday night officially began Bahry’s reign as 2010 Evangeline.

Maddie, daughter of John and Tammy Bahry of Plaquemine, never expected she would receive the honor.

“It’s one of the best things that’s ever happened to me, but it’s also one of the most shocking,” Maddie said. “Even as we took the formal pictures at Nottoway, it still felt strange.”

Much of the surprise stems from knowing rich history of the distinction as Evangeline, as well as the responsibilities that come with it.

“When I was growing up, I only hoped to be an Indian princess – I never thought I’d be Evangeline,” Bahry said. “I think my jaw was dropped three minutes after they announced I was Evangeline.”

Bahry hopes she can follow the groundwork set by others who have reigned as Evangeline across more than four decades.

“ I want to be someone who can be a positive role model to younger girls,” she said. “I think the role of Evangeline is to give back and help the community all I can.”

As Evangeline, Bahry will represent Iberville Parish at fairs and other functions across the southern region during the next year.

“I’m looking forward to meeting new people, seeing different areas and seeing what else is popular,” she said.

It’s not as if she wasn’t busy already. Her love of softball and cheerleading has occupied much of her time the last three years of high school.

She became a cheerleader in seventh grade, and said that working in front of a crowd has always been a joy for her.