Rhonda Teeny
Rhonda Teeny

The Rose Festival ambassador from Central Catholic High School has learned that imperfections are an important part of beauty.

Rhonda Teeny, a 17-year-old senior, comes from a family known for Rose Festival beauty. Her mother, then known as Rochelle Anderson, was 1979 Rose Festival Queen out of Marshall High. Her aunt, Rhonda Anderson, had been Rose Festival Queen in 1969, also from Marshall. They are the only two sisters to become Queen in Portland Rose Festival history. Now a new generation is entering the world of Rosaria. Teeny has a healthy, detached view of beauty.

"In high school, I have learned that I'm most happy when I am being myself," she says. "My freshman and sophomore years I wore a mask. I tried to be what I thought was ‘cool.’ However, I was not being Rhonda."

Afraid she was imperfect, she created different personas for academics, for sports, for being with different groups of friends.

"But none of them was truly who I was," she says. "My junior year I ventured out into my city, wanting to experience more of my home. Portland showed me that it is the imperfections that create beauty. It is the quirky habits that make each of us unique. This city has helped me become someone who is truly proud of herself."

Teeny plans to major in political science and economics in college and will explore a career in politics. She has played soccer and run track and also took part in Math Club and Math Festival. She was class president and a peer mediator.

She writes poetry, reads, bakes, plays piano and is a referee for youth soccer games.
The person she admires most is her mother. Rochelle Teeny has flown airplanes, modeled, and even held a job at NASA before raising three children and becoming a community volunteer. She also nursed a child who died of multiple sclerosis.

"To name the one quality I admire most, it would be her inner strength," Rhonda Teeny says of her mother.