The official student news site of Norristown Area High School

The Wingspan

The official student news site of Norristown Area High School

The Wingspan

The official student news site of Norristown Area High School

The Wingspan

Major Carter Brings Experience and Inspiration to JRTOC

Recent Norristown's Finest Stories

Mr. Norristown 2k24 Shines with Talent and Love

Contestants’ Support for One Another Steals the Show

The Mr. Norristown event has always been one of the most important nights for the senior class. As the year–and their high school careers come to a close–, seniors get to kick back and watch their friends get up on stage to share talents, look their best, and sometimes even embarrass themselves. The event holds a special place in the hearts of the Norristown community, and this year’s, which was held Thurs. March 22, was one of the better productions. While their talents were strong, all of the contestants still promoted humility and clearly only wanted to see each other succeed. 

As audience members walked into the NAHS auditorium between 6:30 and 7, they would see a slideshow of behind-the-scenes photos; each photo shows the guys having a blast getting ready for the big night. This was the culture set by Blue & White advisors Kate Bartlett and Jen Shahin and choreographer/NAHS alum Kennedie Licwinko, who have been producing the show for seven years, with the addition of tech advisor Dave Fazzini, who not only ran sound and lights but taught NAHS students to do the same.  

What truly made this production of Mr. Norristown stand out over previous years was its flow. There were no weird pauses between performances, and all of the guys clearly worked together instead of working over each other for the title of “Mr. Norristown.” In fact, many of the contestants backed up other contestants’ acts. From the opening dance numbers, you could see the energy guys put into working the crowd.

Hosts Riley Logan and Zach Zanders kept the audience entertained with their witty banter and showmanship, emulating Barbie and Ken for thematic resonance in 2024. It’s easy to get caught up in all of the contestants’ acts and outfits, but Logan and Zandars need to be acknowledged for their ability to work the crowd during those transition moments. 

As always, the pageant itself consists of 5 categories: formal wear, casual wear, swimwear, the talent portion, and Q&A. During the formal wear, the guys are escorted by a person of their choice; Ashton Young and Ryan Nazionale are accompanied by their younger siblings, whom the crowd just adored. However, Max McCullum went beyond, walking out with two beautiful ladies by his side. We see you, Mr. McCullum. 

Every year for the swimwear section, one of the guys will do something silly like have on a coconut bra or be in a shark costume. Not only did that happen, but Brandon Zuniga was dressed as his true self, Aqua Man. Not to mention Young dressed as Batman, which made me realize I have never actually seen Batman and Young in the same room…  

  . . . Then again, I’ve never seen Batman . . . 

For the talent portion of the night, not one contestant lagged. All had so much energy and kept the crowd engaged. To start off the show, Mateo Escudero performed 4 rock songs with his band “Long Season,”  opening with an Argentine rock song called “Lamento Boliviano” and closing with “Creep” by Radiohead. The whole auditorium was captivated by the band’s performance and even raised lighters (cell phone flashlights) during the final song. 

McCullum truly showed off his originality by performing seven original poems. McCullum was true to who he is, showcasing his passion for creative writing and dramatic performance, featuring acting talent Ambar Ramirez Torres. A quest for originality is true to the spirit of the Mr. Norristown event.

Jared Noriega performed with his dance troop “Ballet Folklórico Yaretzi” and had the crowd cheering. For the next performance, Young came out to perform three rap songs with backup singers and dancers from the drama club. Flippen brought in members of the NAHS orchestra to perform “New World Symphony,” leading the ensemble with his black violin, but he then transitioned into singing songs from “Queen,” “Hozier,” and “Frank Sinatra,” showcasing how well-rounded of a singer he is. 

Both Ryan Nazionale and Jeremiah McCray danced to musical numbers. Nazionale danced to pop songs such as “Single Ladies” and “California Girls” with glow lights. McCray, on the other hand, transformed into Michel Jackson, performing, dancing to a medley featuring highlighting two famous eras. Not only did McCray bring out his brothers to complete the Jackson 5, but even his parents came out to dance, and Mr. and Mrs. McCray sure do know how to bust a move. 

The final act was that of Brandon Zuniga, who sang and performed a tap number with his girlfriend, Haylie Jost. Zuniga’s backup singers completed the whole performance. 

Each act was unique to the performer. I could tell that time and effort was put into each performance and the guys truly enjoyed what they were doing. 

Finally, it was the time for which everyone had been waiting: the crowning of Mr. Norristown. A hush fell over the crowd as the top 4 boys stood on stage. Zuniga was named runner-up, but ultimately, it was McCray who was crowned 2024 Mr. Norristown. The audience went wild, and the other contestants cheered and showered McCray with hugs and praise. It was an amazing way to end the night. 

What stood out to me the most about this event was the way every contestant stood so humble in the face of all the talent he himself could showcase. Each guy genuinely wanted to see their competition succeed and cheered them on along the way. This is what being a member of the Norristown community is about. There was so much love and confidence on the stage that any contestant winning would have made for a great night.

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About the Contributors
Hope Rose Mauch
Hope Rose Mauch, Editor-in-Chief
Hope Rose Mauch, a junior at Norristown, has been writing for the Wingspan since their freshman year, and this is their second year as the editor-in-chief. Along with writing for the paper, Hope is a cheerleader for the school.
Abigail Carsner
Abigail Carsner, Graphics Editor
Abigail has always had a talent for writing. From a young age, Abigail could write like there was no tomorrow. She loves it. This is her second year on the Wingspan. She is a fan of film, art, literature, and music. She enjoys writing music-related articles, either it being about a certain genre or music news. Abigail also likes to write creative works, play guitar, and draw. When she is older, Abigail either wants to be a musician or a writer.

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