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Pettus seeking Almond Blossom crown
Shelby Pettus
RIPON – Shelby Pettus knows that she isn’t the most popular girl at Ripon High School.

She isn’t the head cheerleader, and she isn’t the senior class president – the people that everybody on campus notice when they walk around the corner.

So by throwing her hat into the ring as an Almond Blossom Queen contestant, Pettus hopes that she can show other girls in town that you don’t have to be part of the popular crowd to chase the things that you want in the world.

“I wanted to show people that if you want to do something, then you should chase it – no matter what group you fit into on campus,” said the Ripon High senior. “This is something that I thought would be fun, and something I could learn a lot from.”

The daughter of Connie Placido, Pettus is involved with the yearbook committee at Ripon High – serving as the secretary, vice president, and the accountant during her elective time.

She has also volunteered at the Ripon Animal Shelter, at Main Street Days, and at Ripon Grace which she attends regularly.

The perfect attendance honoree says she enjoys reading, music and photography – and wishes to pursue the latter when she attends Modesto Junior College.

“I’m really interested in music and design, and things like graphic design where you design CD covers and things like that,” Pettus said. “I know that I want to pursue photography when I got to MJC after I graduate and see where that takes me.”

As a longtime Ripon resident, Pettus – who describes herself as smart, happy and thoughtful – says that she enjoys the small-town feel of the community, and how everybody comes together for the Almond Blossom Festival.

“The thing I love the most about the Almond Blossom Festival is that sense of community that you can just feel,” she said. “People come together and that really makes for a unique experience, and that’s one of the reasons that I enjoy living here.”

As far as what she hopes to get out of the experience of being part of the Almond Blossom Queen Court, Pettus says that she wants to broaden her horizons and overcome some her fears.

“I’d really like to learn how to come out of my shell by doing this,” she said. “I kind of have a fear – I’m not the type of person who is used to getting up in front of people and speaking or anything like that. I want to learn how to do that, and I hope this gives me that opportunity.”