Nine girls from Latrobe, Derry, and Ligonier school districts competed in this year’s virtual Banana Split Princess Pageant. Each girl submitted with her application an essay explaining why she should be named the princess, a headshot, a video interview, and formal wear walk video.
The top three contestants will be invited to appear during the virtual event on August 25, with one girl being crowned the 2020 princess.
Meet the Contestants
Meet the Past Princesses
Piper Anke - 2018
The very first Banana Split Princess, Piper was crowned in 2018. She attended several Greater Latrobe – Laurel Valley Chamber of Commerce ribbon cuttings and their annual awards dinner.
Jannie Van Horn - 2019
A student at Baggaley Elementary School, Jannie was crowned Banana Split Princess in 2019. She has participated in Fred Rogers Family Day, the Latrobe Fourth of July Parade, and other special events within the Greater Latrobe community.
Meet The Judges
Kiara Lin is the current Miss Pennsylvania Teen USA. She is an 18-year-old graduate from Seneca Valley Senior High School who will be attending Penn State University this fall. She was the captain of the Seneca Valley Varsity Cheer Team, a volunteer at Highmark Caring Place and has been a member of a Chinese cultural dance team. Her hobbies include self- defense classes, cooking ethnic food, jet skiing, hiking, drawing, and taking spin & pilates classes. Kiara has a unique ethnic blend of Taiwanese, Italian, Hungarian, and Slovakian. She has been a victim of bullying throughout her life which inspired her to advocate for self-love and speaking to others on how to gain confidence from within.
Gina Cerilli, Esq. was first elected in 2015. She is the third woman in the history of Westmoreland County to serve as Commissioner. Commissioner Cerilli is a resident of Hempfield Township and attended Greensburg Central Catholic High School. She graduated cum laude from Philadelphia University, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree and Masters of Business Administration. She earned her Juris Doctorate from Duquesne University School of Law. She currently practices with Pietragallo Law Firm.
Her priorities include Tackling the Opioid Epidemic, Protecting Senior Citizens, Promoting Workforce Development in the Trades, and Healthcare.
The most enjoyable duties for her include meeting with (and occasionally dancing with) the residents of the county at the Senior Centers, reading to students and taking part in school programs where she hears the students’ concerns and aspirations. She has a special interest in programs, such as GirlGov, that encourage female students. Gina is a former Miss Pennsylvania USA and a Top 15 finalist in the nationally televised Miss USA 2010 pageant.