MONROE, WA -- At Monroe High School the homecoming tradition runs deep. This year, however, students are challenging those traditions.

This generation is apparently sick of homecoming being a popularity contest.

"We honestly all hated it," said ASB President Meredith Teague. "Why are we all doing this? This isn't helping unite our school. It's just helping to separate it."

This year, students at Monroe High are deposing the customary crowning of a king and queen and opting for more of a "royal family."

Instead of a handful of "cool kids" being selected to the homecoming court, 48 students from all walks of life have been nominated from every school club and team.

Those names were announced at a special assembly Friday.

Sasha Schroeder, the Art Club secretary, said she never would've been nominated under the old regime.

"I feel honored," she said. "I think it's important to have other people represent the school other than just people who are popular. We are people who are truly involved in our school."

Those 48 students will be pared down to two winners. The key factor in the decision-making process involves a food drive for the local food bank. The students who collect the most food will win.

The two finalists will be announced at next week's homecoming football game. They will not necessarily be a "king and queen." The winners will be chosen by their achievements and not by gender.

"To feel like you actually have done something and not just had it be a popularity contest is so much more valuable and so much more rewarding," said Teague, who is also a nominee.

At Friday's assembly, students turned on their cell phone lights and swayed back and forth as if to signal the dawn of a new era at Monroe High -- an era where homecoming will feel more like home for everybody.