Mr. Voc Tech 2019
After Prom Committee
The results are in! The 2019 Mr. Voc-Tech winner is Jhona Coombs of Media Technology. But he isn’t our only winner; this year’s fundraiser was a huge success, raising almost $7,000 for the After Prom Committee, pushing funds up to around $14,600 in total. After Prom would like to thank faculty, staff, students, and community members for their support of the event. We are so proud of all the contestants for putting on an amazing show!
Mr. Voc Tech 2019 Winner
In the aftermath of the event, we interviewed Jhona Coombs, our Mr. Voc-Tech, and the hostess of the event, Olivia Benoit.
Here is what each had to say …
Mr. Voc Tech 2019 Host
What was your initial thinking when first joining the roster for the competition?
I’d wanted to compete in the competition since last year when I worked the competition as the runner boy (doing various tasks backstage to help the show flow better). I had thought it would be a fun experience while still helping fund After Prom since the competition is one of the biggest fundraisers.
Compared to your competitors, did you envision yourself winning the competition? Why?
I really didn’t think I was going to win. The boys I competed against were very confident in their skills and had practiced their talents erroneously (those of which went from as simplistic as just eating super hot wings to as complex as having multiple songs, dances, and props in their single talent; let alone being in multiple talents). I practiced just as hard but my confidence in my performance was very low and I thought that I’d be lucky to place even in the top 5. Mixed with the mystery of what the questions would be, I just thought I wouldn’t do as well as I did.
What does this competition mean to you?
At the start, this competition was just really another competition/show I wanted to be in this year. I had done one of the Voc-Tech Theatre Company shows and am now cast in the second one, did the talent last year and this year, BPA, SkillsUSA, and worked this show last year, making it only fitting for me to compete in it and try to make my year go out with a bang. But as we went through rehearsals and it came closer to time, I only really wanted two things: one, gain the confidence I had in myself at the start and give it my all, even if it ended in me not even placing, and two, prove to everyone that I belonged. I knew that I stood out like a sore thumb, being a good 4-6 inches shorter than everyone else in the competition, as well as only being known as male for the last 2.5 years after I came out at the start of Sophomore year. So for me, it was more of a personal milestone in both my transition and my life. I would be formally recognized as the man I am in front of the entire school and anyone that came to the show watched the live stream or would watch the video later.
How did you feel when you actually won?
I was really shocked. I never thought that I would win something this big in my high school career. It was really heartwarming, honoring, and exciting for me. I thought that even getting into the top five was a super big honor.
How does it feel to be the first transgender Mr. VT winner?
I think it’s crazy that I’m the first transgender Mr. VT winner. I had made history and just that fact is a little daunting but only makes me more and more proud of the accomplishment I had achieved that night.
Is there anything you’d like to say to your competitors?
I want to thank all of the guys for putting up with me and sticking it out until the end. You all did amazing and every rehearsal you gave it your all, and that’s something to be proud of. Even if you didn’t place or you didn’t even get in the top five, I hope that you are proud of yourself for sticking true to yourself in this competition and not giving up on yourself. You all did amazing and I hope you are as proud of yourselves as I am proud of you.
Is there anything you’d like to say to everyone else?
Thank you all for coming to the show. Your attendance made this fundraiser a huge success and I couldn’t thank you all enough for supporting our After Prom. Thank you to everyone behind the scenes, before, during, and after the show helping with getting this show on the road, keeping it organized and running smoothly, and closing it up at the end. You’re all amazing people and the guys and I couldn’t thank you enough for all the effort you put into making this show as amazing as it was.
What was your initial thinking when first auditioning to become the hostess?
I signed up to be a backup host in case something happened to the two original hosts. I didn’t think I would actually end up hosting Mr. Voc-Tech.
Can you describe an average rehearsal night?
Due to certain circumstances, I only had one rehearsal. It was the night before the show and it went pretty well. All of the guys were well rehearsed and ready for the show.
What does this competition mean to you?
As a hostess, I got to be backstage with the contestants before they went out. Seeing them nervously get ready and then go out to a screaming crowd was really heartwarming and inspiring.
What did you think of the audience turn out?
It was incredible. It looked like every seat was taken and every member in that audience was supporting the guys and After Prom. It was awesome.
What did you think about the competition itself, even after going through the rehearsals?
The competition was great; all of the guys put on an incredible performance and it was a whole different experience seeing a crowd hype the guys up.
Explain your overall experience.
Overall, Mr. Voc-Tech was just really fun and enjoyable. The night was about the talented guys of the 2019 class and it was cool to be a part of it.