Distinguished Young Woman Of Tennessee Finale Is Saturday

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 - by Wendy King
Courtney Miller
Courtney Miller
- photo by Carden Photography

Twenty-four high school seniors are in Cleveland this week to form lasting friendships while in pursuit of the silver medallion that one of them will receive at Saturday night’s finale as the winner of the 2015 Distinguished Young Woman of Tennessee (formerly Junior Miss) program.

The participants arrived in Cleveland on Sunday to participate in community events while rehearsing for the two-day finals which start on Friday at The Dixon Center on the Lee University campus.  Showtime is at 7 p.m. both nights and two-day tickets are available for $55 and single-night tickets are $30.  The winner will receive her medallion from 2014 titleholder Courtney Miller of Tullahoma who recently returned from the national finals in Mobile where Brooke Rucker of Cartersville became the Distinguished Young Woman of America and won $57,000 in scholarships.

This year’s theme is “The Hits of Motown” and the co-emcees are the Distinguished Young Woman of America and Tennessee 2011 Katye Brock and Miss Tennessee 2012 Chandler Lawson who was also Tennessee’s Junior Miss 2008.  Misses Miller, Brock and Lawson all competed at the Tullahoma/Cumberland Valley program and the trio are Tullahoma High School alumni.

The candidates are judged in Interview (25%), Talent (25%), Scholastics (20%), Fitness (15%) and Self-Expression (On-Stage Question) (15%).   The state winner receives a scholarship, appearance opportunities promoting the “Be Your Best Self” program statewide which emphasizes health, community service, excellence in academics, ambition and responsibility.

The 2015 program which is in its 57th year is the first ever to have twins among the contestants.  Notre Dame High School seniors Kathleen Michaela and Allyn McKenzie Guice are representing Middle Valley and Hixson respectively.   Notre Dame Graduate Katie Ward won the state title two years ago and is entering her sophomore year at Belmont University.

The Guices are among the 16 area teens in this year’s lineup which also includes contestants from the Memphis, Nashville and Tri-Cities area.

In order of appearance, the 2015 contestants along with their local title, school and talent presentation:

·        Hannah Kimberly Reese, Loudon County

Loudon High School

Vocal, “Redeemed”

·        Allison Elizabeth Coyle, Shelby County

Germantown High School

Vocal, “I Dreamed a Dream” 

·        Caitlyn Marie Moro, Ooltewah

Ooltewah High School

Piano, “Comptine d’un autre ete: L’Apres Midi”

·        Kadee Lynn Klimowicz, Rhea County

Rhea County High School

Vocal, “That’s Life” 

·        Kathleen Michaela Guice, Middle Valley

Notre Dame High School

Clogging, “Can’t Touch This”

·        Cara Leigh Creighton, Tennessee Valley

Silverdale Baptist Academy

Vocal, “Defying Gravity” 

·        Chloe Michaela Lyle, Signal Mountain

Signal Mountain High School

Cello, “Tarantella” 

·        Savannah Beth Willard, Hamilton County

Chattanooga High School Center for Creative Arts

Contemporary Dance, “When the Light Gets In”

·        Madeline Deneen Fest, Music City

Centennial High School

Vocal, “Part of Your World” 

·        Charnae Gyana Hines, Soddy-Daisy

Soddy-Daisy High School

Comic Monologue, “Barbie”

·        Julia Zarianna Hurley, Monroe County


Vocal, “Breathe” 

·        Peyton Kirby Wilson, Elizabethton

Elizabethton High School

Vocal, “Habanera”

·        Allyn Mackenzie Guice, Hixson

Notre Dame High School

Vocal, “My Favorite Things” 

·        Hannah Darlynn King, Bristol

A Beka Christian Academy Homeschool

Piano, “Fantaisie Impromptu”

·        Kyleigh Paige Stewart, Marion County

South Pittsburg High School

Vocal, “Please Mr. Postman” 

·        Macy Jean Marin, Cumberland Valley

Tullahoma High School

Clogging, “Game Time”

·        Destiny Irene Mears, Chattanooga

Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences

Vocal, “The Greatest Love of All” 

·        Rachel Michelle Moffett, Greenback

Greenback High School

Baton, “R-O-C-K in the USA”

·        Lacy Cheyenne Slinker, Rutherford County

LaVergne High School

Vocal, “Butterfly Fly Away” 

·        Emily Melissa Wilt, East Brainerd

Collegedale Academy

Vocal/Guitar, “Son of a Preacher Man”

·        Ashley Rebekah Stevens, Tullahoma

Tullahoma High School

Vocal, “Let It Go” 

·        Savannah Eloise Stone, Cleveland

Walker Valley High School

Original Spoken Word Poetry, Various pieces of art in numerous mediums By Myself

·        Courtney Sherry Johnson, Sevier County

Gatlinburg-Pittman High School

Dance, “Don’t Rain On My Parade”

·        Elizabeth Neely Merriman,  McMinn County

McMinn County High School

Tap Dance, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”

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