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At GNB Voc-Tech, we encourage our student body to be active in different clubs, sports and activities.  Our newest venture originated as an idea from the senior class and is a chance for the senior girls to shine.  The senior girls are hosting their very first spring fling dance on March 26th, and the whole school is invited!!! The theme is Mardi Gras, and the seniors girls will compete to hold the title of the first Miss Voc-Tech. The story of how this idea transpired and what’s happening next was highlighted in SouthCoast’s Today article,  Why Should Boys Have All the Fun?  Senior Girls Spearhead ‘Miss Voc-Tech’ Competition.


Article below is Courtesy from the New Bedford Standard Times /


Why should boys have all the fun?

Senior girls spearhead ‘Miss Voc-Tech’ competition

by Matthew Ferreira
Posted Mar 23, 2022 at 4:30 AM.

NEW BEDFORD — For those who’ve been holding back any ideas or opinions throughout high school, Erica Lugo knows that senior year is the time to speak up. So when the question crossed her mind of why Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School‘s long-running all-male “Mr. Voc-Tech” competition didn’t have an all-female counterpart, she not only raised her concern — she did something about it.

The result is that this Saturday, March 26, female students will get to compete for the title of “Miss Voc-Tech” for the first time in 20 years.

“They sing, they dance, they’ve got their escorts and nice outfits and everything — it’s a really big deal,” Lugo, 18, said of the high-profile Mr. Voc-Tech competition. “So not to take away from the boys, because that’s tradition, but the girls really don’t have anything.”

The idea for Miss Voc-Tech came to Lugo as GNB Voc-Tech administrators were holding a midday briefing in the auditorium on Mr. Voc-Tech details. Instead of keeping the thought to herself, she wasted no time in turning to someone she knew could help: Principal Warley Williams. “I emailed him as soon as that meeting was over just asking, why don’t we do something for the girls? And then the next period we were already starting to talk about it,” Lugo said. “I just thought we should let the girls have a freaking voice for once.”

How it will work

“I felt compelled to try and help,” said Williams, who is a GNB Voc-Tech alum. “The last time I’m aware of that anything like this took place was back in 2002 when I graduated.”

Given the late start, planning and financing an event on the scale of Mr. Voc-Tech would not be possible for the current school year, Williams said. But rather than dismiss the idea, he welcomed Lugo to step up and meet the challenge of making Miss Voc-Tech 2022 a reality however she could. In a couple days’ time, everything from getting necessary staffing and planning security to creating a playlist had been done. “I was very busy,” Lugo said.

With the goal within grasp, Lugo and what had become an alliance of like-minded seniors and several school staff members developed this year’s Miss Voc-Tech format: The event will take place as part of Saturday’s Mardi Gras-themed Spring Fling dance, only open to students. Contestants, who must be senior females, will be judged in two main aspects: Mardi Gras mask design and question responses. The contestants will have designed their masks and prepared three written responses ahead of time, responding to one final question live at the event. The first place winner will receive $100 cash prize and be the one who crowns the winner of Mr. Voc Tech on April 8, with $50 and $25 prizes for second and third places, respectively. A “people’s choice” winner will also be named.  Like Mr. Voc-Tech, Miss Voc-Tech will act as a fundraiser for the school’s after-prom party.

A new tradition?

While it won’t quite be the “grand scale” Miss Voc-Tech of 2002 that Williams recalls, the principal says he’s proud of what his students have accomplished.

“I really wanted them to know that … it’s one thing to ask for something, because a lot of people ask for something and assume that other people are going to get it done,” Williams said. “But the young ladies who wanted this, they developed it, and I’m proud of them for having done that.”

GNB Voc-Tech senior and Mr. Voc-Tech competitor Tyrese Moniz said he admires his classmates for spearheading the Miss Voc-Tech effort. “I just think it’s very brave that the girls are doing this. I’m proud of them for … making a difference,” he said.

Lugo — whose future plans entail attending University of Rhode Island to study sonography — said while reception to the idea hasn’t been all positive, she stands behind the work she and those who joined her cause have done, and hopes it inspires some of the school’s younger students to continue it as a new tradition. “Even if nobody goes, I know that a lot of girls are at least proud of the idea,” she said. “I feel like next year when we’re gone, with the underclassmen who are already excited about it, Miss Voc-Tech will be an even bigger thing if they do it.”

When asked if she might like to remain involved with the competition after graduating, Lugo indicated a willingness to stay connected to the event. Williams seemed to like that idea, suggesting the role of Miss Voc-Tech judge may be in her future.

“You will be an alumni,” Williams said, turning to Lugo. “We are going to need you.”

If you go . . .

Miss Voc-Tech/Spring Fling Dance

WHEN: Saturday, March 26 at 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

WHERE: Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School, 1121 Ashley Blvd., New Bedford

HOW: Admission open to GNB Voc-Tech students only. Tickets are $5 each, for sale at school.

Mr. Voc-Tech Competition

WHEN: April 8, 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School, 1121 Ashley Blvd., New Bedford

HOW: Check for announcements on ticket sales