Mr. NCHS cancelled for the first time ever

Joey Rubas, Staff Writer

The annual “Mr. NCHS” competition was canceled April 20 due to six of the original nine participants dropping out of the competition. 

The competition, which has been running consecutively for over two decades, traditionally features eight to ten Naperville Central seniors competing in various acts, from a talent show to group dances to impromptu interviews. The show was originally slated to feature Trevor Harriman, Henry Wagner, William Tong, Adam Lifka, Barrett Ellman, Ryan Schwartz, Hayden Albright, Charlie Morgan and Quinn Hurley. However, in the weeks and months leading up to the show, Harriman, Wagner, Schwartz, Albright, Morgan and Hurley all declined their spot in the show, leaving just Tong, Lifka and Ellman.

The event was canceled early Wednesday morning by Student Activity Council (SAC) directors Robert Lugiai and Megan Cosgrove after consulting with the three event chairwomen, Katie Dalton, Leora Gadd and Elizabeth Shamoun. 

“I feel that we should only be putting on a show that we are 100% confident about and because of things that are completely out of our control it just wouldn’t work,” Shamoun said. “[Eeveryone] worked incredibly hard and it’s really disappointing to see it to not be able to see it all the way through, . Bbut we want to put our best foot forward.”

The show was initially scheduled for its traditional timeslot in early February, but was delayed to May 6 due to concerns regarding the high case rates of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. 

“Once it was pushed into the spring, we really tried to work with the students’ schedules and prior commitments,” Cosgrove said. “It really just proved too challenging. So we just had to end up canceling it, unfortunately.” 

Reasons for leaving the show varied from participant to participant, but some centered around being unable to fulfill the time commitment of putting together the act.

“I thought I’d be able to manage a lot of my time,” said Hurley, who left the show a few weeks before its scheduled date. “At the end of the day, I was not, and it left me with many things on my plate that I wasn’t able to make time for.”

Other participants expressed concerns that school spirit surrounding the show had declined.

“I felt like the hype wasn’t as much as in past years,” said Wagner, who decided not to enter the show near the end of first semester. “I didn’t know if it would be quite worth my time.”

Despite this year’s difficulties, the SAC still hopes to host the event next.

“We are really disappointed that Mr. NCHS is canceled this year,” Cosgrove said. “We do hope to return next year.”