MOUNT VERNON — When the last night of the 2010 Knox County Junior Miss program came to a close, Micayla Simmons of Mount Vernon High School was named Central Knox County Junior Miss and Tabytha Arthur of Danville High School was named Greater Knox County Junior Miss.
“I’m so excited. I didn’t expect this at all,” said Simmons. “I told my mom that I was not going to expect to win, I’m just going to have fun. I’m so very honored and so proud to be here.”
“I’m so excited,” said Arthur. “I’m excited about representing all of the girls here. I didn’t expect this; I just came to do it for fun.”
Also representing Central Knox County Junior Miss is first runner-up Chelsea Menke and second runner-up Moriah Secrest, both of MVHS. For Greater Knox County Junior Miss, first runner -up was Alissa Guitner, Centerburg High School; second runner-up was Kaitlyn Boggs of Fredericktown High School.
“We had such a big group this year. It was very exciting, and a lot of energy that we were able to focus to where it needed to be,” said Katie Delozier, co-chairwoman 2010 Knox County Junior Miss Scholarship program.
“It was very rewarding having so many of them. We had a lot of fun and we are very proud of all the girls,” said Leah Andrews, co-chairwoman KCJM.
Saturday was the second night of performances of fitness for the purple and red groups, self-expression for the purple group, and talent for the blue and green groups.
DHS contestant Janelle Mickley performed a flute solo to “A Whole New World” from the Disney movie “Aladdin” during the talent portion of the program. Cathryn Clark of Northridge High School gave an American Sign Language dance performance to the song “Eye of the Tiger.”
Performances continued with the gymnastic dance routine done by Chelsea Pillow of MVHS to the song “Jai Ho” by A.R. Rahman.
The crowd “oohed” and “awed” and clapped when the slide show of pictures — showing the 30 contestants from toddler, to youth, to their young adult years — appeared on the screen.
While the judges calculated the scores, special entertainment was provided by Spotlight Dance Studio; 2009 Central Knox County Junior Miss Hope Brill, who drew a quick sketch of her favorite person; and first runner-up Maria Crippen, who performed a dance to the music “Where I Stood.”
2009 Ohio Junior Miss Yelena Arishina also provided a solo piano piece. Be Your Best Self essays were read by award winners Katie Merrilees and Samantha Hollar. Brill and Arishina gave farewell speeches, and thanked those who encouraged and helped them along the way. They also spoke about their experience of being in the same shoes as the contestants.
The scholastic award winners were Rachel Hartong of MVHS, Central Knox County, and Kierra Dye of CHS, Greater Knox County. The talent award went to Central Knox County contestant Rachel Benedetti of MVHS and Greater Knox County contestant Alissa Guitner of CHS. Simmons and Arthur also won the self-expression award as well as the interview award, and the fitness award went to Dye and Simmons.
Simmons and Arthur will compete in the Ohio Junior Miss program in February 2010, held in Mount Vernon at the Memorial Theater.