Home to a diverse student body, Garland ISD boasts award-winning academics, athletes, artists, musicians and more. But, Garland High School is also home to the 2018-19 Miss Cambodia International Texas. Senior Morakoth Chev was recently recognized by the district’s Board of Trustees for representing GHS, GISD and the entire community in the Miss Teen Asia America International Pageant.
At the age of 10, Chev’s family inspired her to pursue and preserve traditional Cambodian culture. She has made this her passion ever since and increases awareness through dance, which in Cambodian culture is not simply art but rather a manner of storytelling. Actively participating in as many events as she can, the Cambodian Community of Texas chose her to represent them in the Miss Asian American International Pageant last August. It was held in Richardson and included interview, talent, evening gown and cultural dress categories. Contestants were also judged on their demonstrated community service, leadership, attitude and more. GISD Trustee, Linda Griffin, had the honor of sitting on that judging panel as well.
As one of just nine chosen to compete in the Miss Teen Asia America International Pageant, Chev describes her takeaways as learning the strength in delicacy, as well as the subtlety of things said versus those left unsaid. She also developed the discipline of conducting business with poise and esteem, forgoing certain things so that bigger and better things can enter her life. Lastly, she discovered newfound confidence.
But the esteemed competition only helped enhance an individual that Garland High School teachers already describe as exceptional.
One of her teachers said, “Morakoth is a polite and outgoing young lady who is dedicated to her family, school and community. She always goes above and beyond in all of her endeavors. She is a bright spot in my day.”
According to another teacher, “Her commitment to education is only matched by her talent for art. She conducts herself with honesty, compassion, and grace. I am so grateful to have her as a student this year.”
Chev received an Evidence of Excellence award at the Dec. 11 board meeting.
“I am very proud to represent my community,” she said during the recognition. “I would like to say, ‘Thank you,’ and that I appreciate everything.”