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Miss Jennings County pageant thrilling event

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It’s that time of year. The Jennings County 4-H Fair is just around the corner, and what would we do without our wonderful Miss Jennings County to represent us?

Contestants are gearing up for what is to be an exciting and thrilling experience that will surely build up their interview skills and self-confidence.

Contestants are Annie Wall, Cheyenne Jayne, Baileigh Bentz, Morgan Reece, Abby Suhre, Stacia Schmidt, Sierra Ritz, Megan Taskey, Laura Hauersperger, Nakiah Johnson, Annie Weeks, Brooklyn Noblitt, Jessica Yoder, Brooke Short, Danielle Cosby, Kilee Litrell and Adrianna Gasper. These young ladies will be competing for either the queen or princess title, depending on their age.

The entire process of choosing the next queen includes many events: a retreat where all the contestants were instructed about poise on stage; practice with mock interviews; and just having fun.

Contestants were to have some together time Thursday at the Strawberry Festival. Reigning queen McKensie Vanosdol was to be honored Saturday at the Queen’s Ball.

One thing Kitty Shepherd, former pageant director, stressed was the girls all depart as friends, building relationships as the time rolls on. The new director, Leslie Bradshaw, is keeping to that philosophy.

“It’s been a lot of work but a lot of fun. The committee has been super supportive, and the transition to director has been pretty smooth,” Bradshaw said.

When the pageant arrives June 28, contestants will be judged on poise, personality and the ability to converse.

The judging is divided into three divisions. In Division I, the contestants will be interviewed by the judges (usually three). This division is worth 50 points, making it worth 50 percent of their total score. The judges will ask questions such as, “Why do you think you should be the new Miss Jennings County?” or “What is your favorite television commercial and why?” Division II is evening wear and is worth 30 points total. Contestants will be judged on stage presence and overall impression. Division III is professional wear and is worth the remaining 20 points. They will be judged on posture, poise and overall impression.

It’s an exciting time and amazing experience for these ladies. I can personally comment, as 2012 Miss Jennings County, that the pageant program really helped me shed my shell, build much needed interview and public speaking skills, and has really changed my outlook on life. Here’s to hoping that this experience will be as life changing for these ladies as it was for me.

Makenzie Caldwell is a 2014 graduate of Jennings County High School.

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