HOUSTON AREA BEAUTIESVie for State Pageant Titles
Eyeing The Crowns For Miss Texas And Miss Teen Texas Competitions In July
By Don Maines
A dozen Houston-area college students will be among the 39 contestants ages 17-24 vying for a chance to become Miss America when the 77th Miss Texas Scholarship Pageant is televised this month from Allen, near Dallas.
“It’s the biggest Houston-area contingent in years,” said Tammye Markle of Montgomery, who schedules all Miss Texas appearances as her business manager.
Three nights of preliminary competition in swimsuit, evening gown and talent, along with 10-minute judges’ interviews, will narrow the field to 15 contestants who will compete in the telecast on ABC Channel 13 Digital, to begin at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 7, from the Allen Event Center. From the Top 5, the successor to Miss Texas 2011, Kendall Morris of Ennis, will be crowned.
Adrianna Nelson, the reigning Miss Houston, was first runner-up last year.
Other returning contestants include Callie Thompson of Katy, Allison Seward and Rachael Turner of Sugar Land, Elizabeth Gardner of Missouri City, Rachel Garrett of Kingwood, Ashley Simien of Magnolia and Friendswood’s Michelle Hanson.
First-time contestants include Mikaley Brooks and Zoe Cadore of Houston, and Angelic Ortiz and Whitney Wylie of The Woodlands.
Because every town and city doesn’t have a local preliminary to the state pageant, the Miss Texas Organization allows any Texas resident to enter “open” pageants, explained Markle, which is how Thompson, for example, won this year’s Miss Austin crown even though she’s a student at Texas A&M University in College Station.
Markle, who is one of five members of the state pageant’s Leadership Team, hopes to encourage more volunteers to become executive directors of local preliminaries. The Leadership Team oversees the Miss Texas Organization, along with state executive director Michelle M. Metzger and four
others who comprise the board
“There is a sense of pride in being a local director and preparing titleholders for the state competition,” said Markle. “There are many positives and pluses to serving your community and helping young women grow educationally and socially.
“As big as Houston and its surrounding counties are, we should have 20 to 30 titles,” she said.
Markle previously served as a local director for 10 years in Houston, The Woodlands and Montgomery County. Two of her titleholders won Miss Teen Texas; two others later became Miss Texas.
Onstage talent is a unique aspect of the competition to become Miss America, explained Sheila Milner, executive director of the Miss Houston Organization.
In addition, contestants also champion a cause throughout
their year of service. For example, Nelson’s platform, “Just Living Safely — The Dangers of Drunk Driving,” is a direct response to
the death of her fiancée, who was killed in 2010 by a teenager who was intoxicated.
Performing a production number in the telecast will be younger girls, called Lone Star Princesses, who are mentored by the Miss and Teen contestants.
For further information, visit the official website, misstexas.org.
In addition to the Miss Texas contest, the Miss Teen Texas competition will be held July 4-7 in Allen.
Its winner will be announced and crowned during the July 7 telecast. The winner will represent Texas
at the 2012 Miss America’s Outstanding Teen National Competition Aug. 14-18 in
Teen contestants, ages 13-17, will compete in interview, aerobic wear, evening gown and talent.
Among this year’s Teen contestants are Houston-area students Mary Kate Baker, Elizabeth Buzbee, Ashlyn Connor, Tiffany Dimaano, Edmie Gonzales, Normani Hamilton, Angela Heinrich, Brandee Mills, Niki Noblett and Margana Wood.
1 ADRIANA NELSON
SCHOOL: Houston Baptist University
Vocal: “How Great Thou Art”
PLATFORM: Just Living Safely-Dangers of Drunk Driving
2 RACHAEL TURNER
Miss Harris County
SCHOOL: Belmont University
Vocal: “Ah! Joie de Vivre”
PLATFORM: Beauty Itself: A Journey Starting with Self-Love
3 CALLIE THOMPSON
Miss Austin 2012
SCHOOL: Studying for Bachelor’s Degree at Texas A&M in College Station
PLATFORM: Asthma: Living Without Limitations
4 ALLISON SEWARD
Miss Ellis County
SCHOOL: Texas Christian University, Neeley School of Business, Accounting and Finance double major
Vocal: “Malaguena (piano)”
PLATFORM: Children’s Literacy – Tomorrow’s Leaders are Today’s Readers
5 ZOE CADORE
Miss Sugar Land
SCHOOL: Spellman College graduate
PLATFORM: Every Child Has A Dream-Enhancing the Lives of Children Through Artistic Mentorship
6 MIKALEY BROOKS
Miss Woodlands 2012
SCHOOL: Alief Taylor High
Dance: “Ne me quitte de pas”
PLATFORM: Mission: Possible
7 WHITNEY WYLIE
SCHOOL: Sam Houston State University- Major in Mass Communications with Broadcast Emphasis and Political Science Minor
TALENT SELECTION: Baton Twirling
PLATFORM: Progress For Parkinson
8 RACHEL GARRETT
SCHOOL: Southern Methodist University
Vocal: “You’ll Never Walk Alone”
PLATFORM: Healthy Kids for a Healthy Tomorrow
9 ELIZABETH GARDNER
Miss West Texas 2012
SCHOOL: Working on graduate degree at Texas Southern University in Houston
Dance: “I Will Always Love You”
PLATFORM: “Great Expectations” in the community — working with the young people in the Boys & Girls Clubs of America
10 MICHELLE A. HANSON
Miss White Settlement 2012
SCHOOL: Dallas Baptist University 2010; Bachelor’s Degree, Biblical Studies
Dramatic Vocal: “Papa, Can You Hear Me?”
PLATFORM: Turning Coal into Diamonds: Finding the Treasure in Adversity
11 ASHLEY SIMIEN
Miss Southeast Texas 2012
SCHOOL: Graduate of University of Texas – Arlington Sam Houston State University (Post-Bacc)
Dance: “Note to God”
PLATFORM: Care 4 Kids: Pediatric Cancer Awareness
12 ANGELIC ORTIZMiss Sam Houston
SCHOOL: Sam Houston State University
Dance: “Que Rico Suena Mi Tambor”
PLATFORM: Fine Arts Education for Youth
13 NIKI NOBLETT
Teen Miss Sugar Land
SCHOOL: Bellaire High
Vocal: “Colors of the Wind”
PLATFORM: Niki’s Camp
14 ASHLYN CONNOR
Miss Teen Friendswood
SCHOOL: Strack Intermediate
Vocal: “Mama Who Bore Me”
PLATFORM: Bare Necessities
15 BRANDEE MILLS
Miss Teen Fort Bend County
SCHOOL: Virtual Academy Homeschool
Acro Dance: “Amazing Mayzi”
PLATFORM: Early Childhood Education
16 NORMANI HAMILTON
Miss Teen Clear Lake
SCHOOL: Virtual Academy- Homeschooled in Pearland
PLATFORM: Normani’s Diary of Silent Voices, “Every Voice Should be Heard”
17 TIFFANY DIMAANO
Miss Southeast Texas’ Outstanding Teen
SCHOOL: St. Agnes Academy
Vocal: “Just Around the River Bend”
PLATFORM: Listen! The Power of D.E.A.F.
18 MARY KATE BAKER
Miss Teen Woodlands
SCHOOL: Cy Ranch High School
PLATFORM: Accept and Respect
19 ANGELA HEINRICH
Miss Teen Harris County
SCHOOL: Clements High School
Vocal: “Think of Me”
PLATFORM: CSI- Computer Safety Intelligence
Miss Katy’s Outstanding Teen
SCHOOL: Friendswood High School
Vocal: “I Enjoy Being A Girl”
PLATFORM: Promoting Best Buddies International
21 MARGANA WOOD
Miss Teen Houston 2012
Dance: “Aqua Vitae”
PLATFORM: Nice Girls Rule
22 SARAH LAMBECK
Miss Teen Deer Park
SCHOOL: Fairmont Junior High
Clogging: “Greased Lightnin”
PLATFORM: CSI- Computer Safety Intelligence