Mardi Gras royalty on parade Saturday

From left to right are debutante Brooklynn Haecker with her presenter Rodney Van Oudekerke, debutante Fallon Sheffield with her presenter Monte Sheffield, King and Queen of Carnival Theodore and Thea Dake, debutante Emma Ingram with her presenter Dr. Earl Ingram, and debutante Rachel Oles with her presenter David Oles. PHOTOS BY CHRISTOPHER PAUL CARDOZA

King & Queen on Carnival Ted & Thea Dake

On Saturday, Feb. 10 the Mistick Krewe of Okeanos and the city of San Marcos will recognize the 2018 King and Queen of Carnival, Dr. Theodore “Ted” Dake Jr. and Thea Dake.

Ted Dake is a retired “Full Bird” Colonel of the United States Air Force. He has been awarded multiple recognitions throughout his military career; most notably the United States Air Force Legion of Merit medal, three Air Force Commendation medals and the Bronze Star. While serving in the Air Force as a physician and fighter pilot, he was named the Major General Malcolm C. Grow USAF Flight Surgeon of the Year award. Dr. Dake is also the only person in military history to have achieved a tri-rating of Command Pilot, Master Parachutist and Chief Physician. He has been in private practice as a board certified psychiatrist for over forty years and is still active in his field and loves assisting others. Ted Dake has always felt strongly about helping those in need. During the Vietnam War, he was often sent out to the villages to treat the villagers for anything from pulling teeth, administering vaccines to delivering babies. He is still practicing his chosen profession as a psychiatrist, to this day.

Thea Dake is an active member of the San Marcos community. She has served on multiple boards and commissions, the most recognizable being the San Marcos Historic Preservation Commission, the CTMC Hospital Board and the San Marcos Heritage Association. She is passionate about preserving the integrity of historical neighborhoods and has never been one to shirk from a “fight.” She is definitely someone you want on your side. Thea Dake is a tireless volunteer in her community and church. She has been named Heritage Association Volunteer of the Year and Beta Woman of the Year. She was an integral factor in establishing an Inpatient Hospice Unit at Central Texas Medical Center – the first of its kind in our community.

Ted Dake was born in Paris, Texas but was mainly raised in Oklahoma. Thea Dake was born and raised in Garden City, Long Island. Truly a tale of North meets South. He states that he “was smitten with her from the start,” and relates that when he first saw her at a Halloween party, he leaned over to his friend and said “See that pretty blonde? I’m going to marry her.” It only took one month, being stood up once and her mother threatening her to either “go out with the poor boy or tell him you’re not interested,” for her to be convinced. Seven months later, they were married.

While stationed at Bergstrom Air Force Base, the Dakes agreed that it was time to put down some roots and for him to retire from the Air Force and become a “civvie.” Shortly after he retired, he hung his shingle for his own private psychiatric practice. Very quickly, Thea Dake joined him as a psychiatric social worker. They have been practicing together for over thirty years.

In 2000, the Dakes agreed they needed to move to a smaller home. In 2001, they bought and renovated one of the prettiest historical homes in the Belvin Street Historic District and made it their own. After their youngest daughter Tammy moved to San Marcos with her husband Jake and their sons, the Dakes elected to relocate their practice from Austin to San Marcos, discovering that there were no private practice psychiatrists in the area.

Together, they have lived in five different states, two countries and have visited multiple countries overseas. This year the Dakes are celebrating their 56th anniversary. They have two daughters and five grandchildren.

Both Ted and Thea Dake feel very honored that they have been named the 2018 King and Queen of Mardi Gras. Upon hearing of their nomination, they were very surprised and actually questioned whether this was correct, but did say that now the decision is made, they’re “not giving back their crowns.”

Debutante Emma Ingram

Emma Ingram is a high school junior, attending Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science (TAMS) at North Texas State University in Denton. When she graduates from high school, she will have 60 hours of college credits as a result of her attendance at TAMS.

Acceptance to TAMS is an intellectual obstacle course, that few can successfully navigate. Among the requirements for entry are a high SAT score, an application essay, an academic interview, a social interview and to excel in all around academic, social and service activities.

Ingram’s achievements form a long list of demanding activities, interests and services. Among some of her academic accomplishments are National Honor Society (NHS), 2017 Seiemens Semifinalist (math and science research projects) under Dr. Wu Xu Teng and a Gilt Edge Honor Roll (4.0) for her entire academic career.

Other notable activities include class vice president in 8, 9 and 10 grades; student ambassador at San Marcos Academy and at the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science. Her athletic interests include tennis and baton twirling. She excels in baton twirling and was the state champion baton twirler in 2016.

Ingram generously gives of her talent and her time. In October 2017, she held a baton twirling clinic for young girls to raise money for breast cancer awareness.

Ingram has specific plans after graduation. She plans to study civil engineering and attend graduate school.

Debutante Brooklyn Haecker

Brooklyn Haecker is a senior at Seguin High School whose life is full to overflowing. To say she is an overachiever is to grossly understate her abilities and activities.

First, she is vice president of the high school chapter of Future Farmers of America (FFA). As a member of the FFA, she raises and shows Boer goats and is an expert on tending and showing these animals.

From the goat pen to the school yearbook, Haecker transitions smoothly and enthusiastically. She is the photo editor, a job which entails handing out assignments, doing layouts, photographing events and directing videos of sporting events and other school activities.

As a multi-talented and multi-interested young woman, she is seriously considering furthering her knowledge and skills in photo/ video journalism in college. She is accomplished in performance and production and enjoys both.

Haecker is an outstanding student academically. She is a member of the NHS; she is a NHS Scholar; she is a member of Quill and Scroll, an elite designation for high school students practicing journalism skills; and she has earned a Lone Star Farmer designation as a member of the FFA.

In addition, Haecker participates with a number of service organizations. She works with Rotary Club, the Chamber of Commerce, Veterans organizations and has worked to raise funds for victims of the Sutherland Springs shooting and Hurricane Harvey.

Debutante Fallon Sheffield

Fallon Sheffield is a junior at San Marcos High School and though her family, owns one of the most popular restaurants in town, Palmer’s. She has achieved her own notoriety and following through her outstanding performances and participation in a smorgasbord of activities.

Sheffield is a member of the NHS and that says enough about her academic abilities, but she is also a member of the Science Club, a member of the jazz band, a member of the salsa band and is deeply involved in theater as an intern, piano accompanist and musical director.

Sheffield shares her time and talents in many ways aimed at improving life for others. She is vice president of the San Marcos Youth Commission, a counselor at Allendale Girls Camp and on the outreach and sub-committee of the San Marcos Youth Council.

In addition to her gift of time and talent to a number of nonprofits and youth organizations, she is a state qualifying pianist and president of the Tri-Music Honor Society.

Lest you think Sheffield is all academics and services, it should be noted that she enjoys athletics as well. She is a member of the exceptionally successful San Marcos varsity swim team.

Upon graduation, Sheffield has solid plans to attend the University of Texas in pursuit of a business degree. You can be assured she will be an outstanding representative of San Marcos High graduates at the next level.

Debutante Rachel Oles

Rachel Oles is senior at San Marcos Academy and to say that she has been an active student with an impeccable academic record would be a gross understatement. Her lists of achievements defy rational description. It seems it would take three people to match her list of achievements and activities.

She is a member of the NHS which is an all-encompassing description of her academic achievement, but Oles has added the Gilt Edge Honor Roll (4.0) for the past three years, the NHS English Award and the National Junior Honor Society Mathematics Award.

Oles has contributed significantly to student government and student athletics. She has held a number of offices including vice president of the National Honor Society, vice president of Student Council, student ambassador and a member of the Athletic Council.

Her athletic prowess has been recognized with a plethora of accolades. Among those honors are co-captain and MVP of the volleyball team, co-captain and MVP of the soccer team, varsity tennis team member and the Mannie Foster Female Athlete of the Year Award. As lagniappe, she has also been named Battling Bear of the Year in track.

Oles’ service activities are largely through the NHS, but she also volunteers at the PAWS animal shelter and at First Baptist Church special activities.

Upon graduation, she has plans to attend the University of Texas at Austin and major in biology on the pre-med track.

San Marcos Daily Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666