By Maureen Hart
Kayleigh Carey, a 17-year-old senior at Dunmore High School, says there is nothing like standing at the 50-yard line of the season-opening football game to perform for the first time as Miss Buck.
“You’re standing there alone, adrenaline flowing, and it’s nerve-wracking,” she recalls.
“But it’s also such a fantastic moment. It’s a big honor to be Miss Buck at Dunmore High School. All little girls look up to her.”
Kayleigh, who was chosen for the honor during tryouts last March 16, started twirling lessons with Sherry Nicolais at the age of two, and has always dreamed of being Miss Buck.
“When I was a little girl, I always looked up to the current Miss Buck as a role model,” she confesses. “And now I am honored to be that role model for other little girls.”
The daughter of Lori and Tom Carey of Butler Street, Dunmore, Kayleigh also had another role model growing up when her older sister, Alicia, served as Miss Buck during the 2010-2011 season.
Alicia, now 25, went on to graduate from Temple University, and is employed as an event planner at Constantino’s Catering.
“I always looked up to Alicia, and I wanted to be as good a twirler as she was,” Kayleigh says.
Kayleigh and Alicia have another sister, Kelliann, 20, a student at Penn State Worthington. Both of them also work for Constantino’s, which has become something of a family tradition.
Although it takes a lot of training and practice to become an outstanding twirler, Kayleigh has many other things on her plate.
She serves as co-captain of the varsity basketball cheerleaders and as an officer of the TACT Club (Teens Against Corporate Tobacco) and of the Health Careers Club. A member of the National Honor Society, she is also active with the SADD Club, Spanish Club, and Earth Club.
“I love Dunmore High School,” she notes. “It is a great place to grow up and make friends. I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else.”
She is also an altar server as SS. Anthony and Rocco Church and over the summer she served as a camp counselor at St. Anthony’s Park.
Kayleigh received her twirling routine in January and worked hard to perfect it for the March tryouts,–which are held in front of the entire student body, who then get to vote on their choice. The school principal then counts the votes and announces the winner.
“When my name was called out, I was just overwhelmed and so excited,” she remembers. “It was good to know that working on something for such a long time paid off in the end, and I’m really proud it became a reality.”
Kayleigh’s favorite school subject is math, and she has taken a CAB class during which she drew up floor plans. This class spurred her interest in architecture as a potential career, so over the summer she shadowed architect Laura Gillette Mills, who is with Hemmler Camayd Architecture in Scranton.
“I found I really like architecture and I hope to major in it at Temple,” she explains. She says she fell in love with Temple when her sister Alicia was a student there.
Kayleigh says her parents are very proud of her achievements. And she admits that she would want any future daughter of hers to pursue the same dream of working hard in order to be chosen Miss Buck.