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

AAMC

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”



Southside Casual Classics Concert Series Presents Tennessee Valley Brass

The Tennessee Valley Brass will be performing on Monday, May 11 as part of the concert series of  Southside Casual Classics at the Camp House, 149 E. ML King Blvd.  The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. and last about an hour.  There is no fee, but a goodwill donation for the musicians is appreciated.  Street parking is available, and there is free parking ... (click for more)

Lee's Opera Performs Sunday

Lee University’s Opera Theatre will present various scenes from well-known operas on Sunday at 3 p.m. in Squires Recital Hall, in Lee’s Humanities Center.  The program will include scenes from “Die Fledermaus,” “Don Pasquale,” and “Così fan tutte,” among others.  Opera Theatre began in the spring of 1998 as a workshop and has quickly grown into a production organization ... (click for more)

Mayor Berke To Give State Of The City Address Monday Night

Citizens across the community are invited to attend Mayor Andy Berke’s second annual State of the City address, which will be held Monday at 5:30 p.m. in the ballroom of the Chattanoogan Hotel. The event is free and open to the public. “The State of the City is an important time to celebrate our accomplishments, discuss our challenges and chart a new course together,” said Mayor ... (click for more)

Anonymous Facebook Posters Pose Possibility Of Signal Schools Separating From Hamilton County School System

"Should Signal Mountain Schools separate from the Hamilton County School System?"   That’s the question posted on a Facebook page titled, simply, Signal Mountain Independent School District.   The creators of the page do not identify themselves. “(W)e certainly don’t want our kids dragged into the issue or targeted for special treatment by any ... (click for more)

The Heart Of A Teacher Makes A Difference - And Response (2)

In less than four weeks, I expect to be one of 216 graduating seniors from East Hamilton School. One could say all possible variables help a student rise to the highest levels in school; but a student is more than his environment or genetic code. He is a mixture of his own propensity and dedication to academics, coupled with a systemic team of mentors who give their all as a student’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The P.S. To A Sad Story

Back in the days when we were determined that the Chattanooga News-Free Press would have the best sports section in the country, I was traveling a whole lot. For example, back then I would be leaving today or tomorrow for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, this after hardly recovering from a week spent at The Masters. And, as it happens with those who are constantly in search for tomorrow’s ... (click for more)