Miss Tennessee 2013 Preview

Monday, June 17, 2013 - by Wendy King

When Chandler Lawson begins her studies at The University of Tennessee School of Law in August, the outgoing Miss Tennessee 2012 will have two years of tuition paid in full due to her success as a five year Miss America Organization participant.

A journey that started in 2008 when she was named Miss Scenic City and peaked one year ago when she became the first Miss Chattanooga in over six decades to outright win the state title concludes on Saturday evening when she crowns the 2013 winner in Jackson but not before departing with over $30,000 in scholarships which will cover over two-thirds of her law school expenses.

The four night pageant will be web streamed at www.eplustv6.com starting Wednesday at 9pm with the 36 contestants including eight area representatives competing in the first of three preliminary rounds.   The top 15 will compete in Saturday’s finals until one ultimately is chosen to succeed Ms. Lawson as the state’s goodwill ambassador for  the Children’s Miracle Network and the Governor’s Official Spokesperson for Character Education in Tennessee Schools.  The 2013 winner receives a $13,000 scholarship and will be a member of a Miss America Class of 2014 that will be the first in nine years to compete in Atlantic City when the pageant returns to its birthplace in September.  The finals will be televised on Sunday Sept. 15, in a homecoming that is expected to attract a worldwide audience just over nine months after Ms. Lawson finished in the top 10 at the 2013 pageant in Las Vegas.

Ms. Lawson, who graduated from UT-Chattanooga last year, is not only a member of the final Miss America class to compete in Vegas, but she made Tennessee pageant history as the first state recipient of the Duke of Edinburgh bronze medal for self-development and also as the second runner-up for the prestigious Miss America Quality of Life Award for outstanding community service as the founder of 5 Loaves 4 Kids in her hometown of Tullahoma.

The area contestants hoping to inherit Ms. Lawson’s job are Miss Chattanooga Dacey Winkleman a UTC senior from Winchester majoring in Molecular Biology; Miss Country Sunshine Maria Shepherd of Rhea County who is a senior Music Education major at Lee University;  Miss Dogwood Festival Melanie Rush of McMinnville who is an incoming freshman at UTC; Miss Fall Fest Madyson Foster also of Cleveland who recently graduated with degrees in Dance and Business at Birmingham-Southern College;  Miss Metropolitan Jaclyn Torrento of Nashville who is a Belmont University senior majoring in Entertainment Studies;  Miss Scenic City Amy Catherine Flynn of Knoxville who is a UT-Knoxville senior Marketing major and Miss Tennessee Valley Hannah Robison from Martin who is a junior Chemistry major at UT-Martin.

Hamilton County native Hannah Disterdick who now resides in Memphis will be representing the city in Jackson.  The Soddy-Daisy High School and UT-Knoxville graduate is the daughter of Miss Tennessee 1982 Desiree Daniels.

Miss Chattanooga Dacey Winkleman, 22, Winchester

UT-Chattanooga Senior majoring in Molecular Biology

Talent – Baton Twirling, “River Deep, Mountain High”

Platform – OCD Isn’t As Easy as 1, 2, 3

Fun Fact – 2012 UTC Homecoming Queen

 

Miss Country Sunshine Maria Shepherd, 21, Cleveland

Lee University Junior majoring in Music Education and Clarinet Performance

Talent – Vocal, “Nuit Detoiles”

Platform – Alzheimer’s Awareness, Reaching to Remember Education

Fun Fact – Her crowning moment was featured on ABC’s Miss America preview show

 

Miss Dogwood Festival Melanie Rush 18, McMinnville

UT-Chattanooga Incoming Freshman

Talent – Acro-Routine, “Jailhouse Rock”

Platform – ALZ Can’t Remember ABCs


Miss Fall Fest Madyson Foster, 21, Cleveland 

2013 Graduate, Birmingham-Southern College, Dance/Business

Talent – Contemporary Ballet en Pointe, “Palladio”

Platform – Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Chattanooga

Fun Fact – Was an Extra in the film “42”

 

Miss Memphis Hannah Disterdick, 24, Memphis (native of Soddy-Daisy)

2012 Graduate, Lipscomb University Registered Dietician Program

2011 Graduate, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, B.S. in Nutrition

Talent – Vocal, “If I Ain’t Got You” 

Platform - HEAL from Within, Healthy Eating, Active Living

Fun Fact – Tennessee’s Junior Miss 2007


Miss Metropolitan Jaclyn Torrento, 21, Nashville

Belmont University Senior majoring in Entertainment Industry Studies

Talent – Vocal, “I Know You Won’t”

Platform – Hands to Larger Service (www.handstolargerservice.com)

Fun Fact – Jumped onstage at a Boys Like Girls concert and danced with lead vocalist Martin Johnson

 

Miss Scenic City Amy Catherine Flynn, 22, Knoxville ( www.AmyCatherineFlynn.com )

University of Tennessee Senior majoring in Marketing/International Business

Talent – Vocal, “ (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”

Platform – Break the Silence, Preventing Child Sexual Abuse Education

Fun Fact – American Idol Hollywood Finalist in 2008

 

Miss Tennessee Valley Hannah Robison, 19,  Martin

University of Tennessee at Martin Junior majoring in Chemistry

Talent – Piano, “El Cumbanchero” 

Platform – Student Advocacy for Underprivileged Children Education

Fun Fact - She has custom made sunglasses due to having very long natural eyelashes. 


Operation Paper Drive 2014

The 2014 Mix 104.1 Family Expo will be held on Aug. 9 at the Cleveland Family YMCA. "The purpose of the event is to create a stronger, more connected community," officials stated. "Because education is and has always been the foundational cornerstone of the community and its development, Mix 104.1 has partnered with Cleveland Insurance to deepen the impact the event has on the ... (click for more)

Road To Nightfall Winners Function Play Friday At Miller Plaza

The 2014 Nightfall free concert series continues its schedule of summer musical programming Friday at Miller Plaza with a headline show by Function at 8 p.m. Opening at 7 p.m. will be Roger Alan Wade with Sparkle Motion. Nightfall is hosted each Friday at Miller Plaza through Aug. 29.  Function were the winners of this year’s Road to Nightfall competition, which took place ... (click for more)

DA Looking Into Issue Of County Commission Candidate's Campaign Sending Filled-Out Request For Absentee Ballot To Elderly Voters

The District Attorney's Office has been provided with documents that a County Commission candidate's campaign sent filled-out requests for absentee ballots to elderly voters. Kerry Steelman, election administrator, said there have been four instances in which such requests came from the Elect John Brooks campaign. He said state law says in Section 2-6-202:  (3) A person ... (click for more)

Graham Says County School-City Lawsuit Settlement "Stinks," But County Commission Approves It

The County Commission on Wednesday approved a settlement of a lawsuit brought by the Hamilton County Schools against the city of Chattanooga, though several commissioners said they were not happy with the deal and Commissioner Joe Graham said it "stinks." Commissioner Graham was the lone no vote. He was joined by Commissioner Tim Boyd in a failed effort to defer it a week. ... (click for more)

The Truth From Weston’s Sister - And Response (3)

I try not to read the negative articles and opinions about my older brother. Growing up around politics, I learned a long time ago that thick skin is not only necessary, it’s paramount. But this time, the lies and the rumors and the inaccurate information has gone too far. It’s too ridiculous for me to ignore. So let’s clear a few things up: Weston and I do not “come ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Oscar Brock’s True Passion

I don’t pay much attention to the Hamilton County School Board. Once the moon and the stars aligned behind Superintendent Rick Smith, you hear very little, if anything, from the nine-member council that oversees an annual budget of almost $400 million and employs 4,480 people. So chew this for a minute: approximately 2,000 of those people are not teachers. Yes, there are 78 principals ... (click for more)