Community ActivityJade Sparks



Queen Alalah LXXIX

Jade Sparks


Jade Sparks is not unlike many young people in that they sometimes think the grass is greener on the other side. However, after Sparks, a 2009 graduate of Arkansas City High School, began her collegiate career at the University of Kansas, it took her only one semester at the school to realize it was not the best fit for her at the time.

“I realized coming back to Cowley (College) was the best thing for me in the long run,” Sparks said. “I had heard so many good things about Cowley and Jennifer Blatchford’s dance program was one of the main reasons I came back.”

Sparks is the daughter of Justin and Emily Sparks of Lawrence, KS. She has two brothers, Peyton 9, and Cale 7. Grandparents are Clint (deceased) and Karen Sparks of Arkansas City, and Jerry and Laurel Schones of Arkansas City. 

She returned to Cowley on a theatre/dance scholarship. Along with being only one of four students on scholarship for Blatchford’s dance program, she is also a student ambassador, a secretary for Act One, a member of the CC Singers and Concert Choir and has loved being under the vocal direction of Connie Donatelli.

“Cowley provides a fun environment where it is easy to get involved and have a good college experience,’ Sparks said.

She had a role in Cowley College’s production of “Crazy for You” as a junior at ACHS and fell in love with music-theatre.

“Musicals are a passion of mine that I would like to pursue,” Sparks said.

She recently had a role in Cowley College’s fall play “The Miracle Worker”, and has thoroughly enjoyed working with theatre director Scott MacLaughlin, and Blatchford.

“After being around Scott and Jen and seeing how much they enjoy their job, it makes me want to be a theatre/dance instructor at a community college,” Sparks said. “I want to help inspire people like me who aren’t really sure what they want to do.”

Sparks loves Arkalalah and has fond memories of riding the carnival rides, taking part in the Fun Run, street games, and egg toss. As a member of Ark City Dance she has performed in numerous coronations and parades.

“I love the food at Arkalalah and trying to make it to as many food booths as I can,” Sparks said.

The opportunity to be one of the five finalists for Queen Alalah LXXIX is something Sparks is looking forward to.

“To experience Arkalalah and all that it has to offer to a queen candidate is very exciting,” Sparks said. “This means so much to me, I always saw the queens and never expected to be in this position. It is almost surreal because I have watched the coronations for so long and now it is my turn to experience it.”

Away from Cowley, Sparks teaches dance classes at Ark City Dance. She has been dancing for the past 13 years and enjoys it as well as singing and acting.

After Cowley, Sparks plans on transferring to a NCAA Division II school that has a good reputation in performing arts. But for now, she is happy she decided to come to Cowley.

“Something told me this was the path I needed to take and it turned out to be the best decision I have ever made,” Sparks said. “As a Queen Alalah finalist, I look forward to creating a memory that lasts a lifetime.”