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May 2009

Virginia Kovak elected Miss German America of the 52nd Annual German American Steuben Parade.

On May 17th, 2009, amid much fanfare, Miss German America and her Court, 2009, were elected.

Over 200 people were in attendance, mostly members and leaders of the German-American Community of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The afternoon cocktail reception was held at the Liederkranz in upper Manhattan. Left to right: Princess Kristiana St. John, Junior Princess Sarah Murphy, Miss German-America Virginia Kovak, Junior General Sean Zenker, Junior Princess Annunziata Paolano, Junior Princess Isabella Caico, Princess Christina Ostner Eager contestants were interviewed, while a panel of judges and attendees cast their votes for the new Court. This was the first time ever that members of the audience participated in the actual election of the Queen and her Court. This year's Miss German America is 19 year old Virginia Kovak, of Jackson, NJ. Miss Kovak is very proud of both her German and American roots!

Virginia's mother is a German citizen from Oberkochen, Germany, and her father is an American who serves in the military. The two met in Germany, where her father was stationed during the Cold War.

While in high school, Virginia was a member of the German Club for 4 years, studied in the German Language Honors Program, and was inducted into the National German Honor Society (Delta Epsilon Phi.). Since 2007, she has been enrolled at Ocean County college, studying Business Administration and German courses. Miss Kovak works as an Import Clerk at BRECOflex CO., LLC, a German company with offices in the United States.

In the fall, Miss Kovak will be attending Pace University in New York City, where she will major in International Business with a minor in German. Her career plans include working in both Germany and the US, where she can "continue to build upon the wonderful relationship between these two countries."

This year's Court is also well represented by two princesses, Christina Ostner and Kristiana Marie St. John. Eighteen year old Miss Christina Ostner resides in New Milford, CT, where she recently graduated from High School. She was Vice President of the National Honor Society, President of the German Honor Society, Tailwaggers 4-H Member, and church camp counselor. Among the numerous awards and honors she has received, Christina was a member of the team that placed first in the electromagnet event at the Yale Physics Olympics, a NMHS Senior Art Show Featured Artist, and was invited to attend the Student Awards Ceremony of the Western Connecticut Superintendents Association. Miss Ostner will be attending UConn this fall as a member of the Class of 2013.

Nineteen year old Kristiana Marie St. John resides in Queens, NY and received a full scholarship to attend St. Francis Preparatory School, where she graduated with Honors. Miss St. John received a Presidential Scholarship to Hunter College, where she is studying Sociology and German, and has been invited to attend a First-Year Student Recognition Ceremony. Among her many honors and accomplishments, Kristiana has been a member of the German National Honor Society, the National Honor Society, received several medals from the German American School in Ridgewood (where she has been enrolled for the past eight years), and received a "Certificate Of Acknowledgement Of Outstanding Achievement in German" at St. Francis Preparatory High School.

Parade General Chairman Lars Halter could not be prouder of this year's Queen and Her Court. "This was the first time ever that members of the audience partook in the election process and they could not have done a better job! The Queen and her Court display all the wonderful qualities of German Americans that we have always sought to represent our beautiful Parade, not only in this country at the various festivals they will be attending distributing the cornflowers, but also overseas in their travels!"

This year, the Parade has picked three very lovely Junior Princesses who will also represent the Court at various local festivals and on the float on Fifth Avenue come September 19th.
The Junior Princesses for 2009 are: Miss Isabella Caico of Carmel, NY, Miss Sarah Murphy of Bethpage, NY, and Miss Annunziata Paolano of Rutherford, NJ.

Also a first this year, the Parade Committee was very proud to announce that a new position had been added to the Queen's Court. The Parade Committee named its first ever Junior General von Steuben. Master Sean Zenker, a third grader from Lindenhurst, NY is the first ever Junior General of the German-American Steuben Parade, and excels in football, baseball and soccer! Sean has also been a member of the Cub Scouts the past three years.

Miss German-America and Her Court will be making numerous appearances throughout the NY Tri-State area this summer, representing the 52nd Annual German American Steuben Parade, and raising funds for this year's Parade by selling the traditional German Cornflowers. We hope you are able to meet them, support the festivals and support the German-American Parade.

Pictures by Robert Radske

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German-American Steuben Parade Committee • P.O. Box 3386 • Church Street Station • New York, NY 10008 • Tel. 201-763-7285 • Email: info@germanparadenyc.org