Name: Elsie Bartels

Parents: Eric and Vanessa

Hobbies & Interests One of my favorite things to do is create art. I’ve been raised by two very artistic parents, so seeing what they do with their artistic abilities influenced me as a kid to want to be just like them. I love working with colors and using them to either replicate or put a twist on something from real life. Art gives you the freedom to make the rules and express yourself, and that’s what I love about it. I also very much enjoy picking and arranging flowers. I live outside of town and have a large patch of wildflowers, so every now and then I like to grab a few for my room or the kitchen. Flowers, I think, make any place more beautiful.

School Activities At Unity Christian, I run Cross Country, sing in Concert Choir and Knightsounds, occasionally sing in chapel, and help lead a small group. School is actually one of my favorite places to be. I love hanging out with other teenagers, learning things, and having a sort of set schedule I can go by every day—and I love days when I don’t get any homework 🙂

Spare Time Activities If I’m not at school I’ll probably be spending time with family, taking care of my few house plants, working at Fareway, or going on a walk in town with a friend or two (windmill park is always the best place to meet).

Education/Career Plans After Unity I hope to go to a college close to home and study to be a high school art teacher. I love the structure of high school, and I think that the teaching career would be something I’d quite enjoy. It would be really cool to get to know a lot of students through the years and teach them about what I love. Many of my teachers have had a big impact on my life and I’d like to be able to be that for future students.

Past Tulip Festival Participation I’ve been going to Tulip Festival for as long as I can remember. Besides Christmas, Tulip Festival is my absolute favorite time of year. Each festival I go to every parade available and get as many servings of Poffertjes as my mom will allow. As a little girl, I remember seeing the queen and the court and thinking they were so magical and royal. Everything about the festival back then was magical and in my opinion better than even Disney Land. In my earlier grade school years I participated in dutch games and was chosen as one of the 2009 court pages, and then until now I have walked the mode show every year with my mom. I feel so fancy and European in my costume (it’s quite the feeling).