Miss Scenic City Kerri Arnold became the first newcomer in 12 years to win the Miss Tennessee Volunteer Pageant (formerly the Miss Tennessee Scholarship Pageant and Miss America State Preliminary) on Saturday night in Jackson and the second consecutive representative from the Scenic City Pageants franchise and eighth overall to ascend to the state title since 2003.
The 21-year-old resident of Camden and junior at The University of Tennessee at Martin was crowned by outgoing titleholder Christine Williamson who won last year as Miss Chattanooga. Miss Arnold who sang the Martina McBride classic “Broken Wing” for her talent presentation will receive a $25,000 scholarship and will serve as the Governor’s official spokesperson for Character Education when she embarks on her statewide schools tour in the Fall. The Interdisciplinary Studies major hopes to become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and will promote The Make A Wish Foundation during her year of service.
Miss Chattanooga Samantha Havenstrite who won a swimsuit preliminary on Wednesday and the State Academic Award on Friday was a top 10 finalist. The junior at Southern Methodist University was awarded $5,000 in scholarships. Miss Tennessee Valley Blaire Terrell who is a junior at Lee University received a Non-Finalist Award and a total of $1,500 in scholarships . Miss Memphis Hannah Minear who also attends Lee was not among the top 15 finalists.
Miss Arnold’s win continues the legacy of the Scenic City program whose three representatives (Scenic City, Chattanooga and Tennessee Valley) consistently excel at the state level.
Led by Rodney Hullender, Keith Brown and Mishana Paris the program has produced eight of the last sixteen state titleholders along with numerous runners-up, top 10 finalists and preliminary winners. The 2020 competition will be held on August 3rd at The Baylor School and since it is an open pageant contestants statewide are eligible to compete as what is one of the leading local preliminaries in the nation.
The Scenic City Pageants Miss Tennessee/Miss Tennessee Volunteer Winners
2003 – Jamie Ruth Marie Watkins Davenport
2006 - Blaire Pancake Koehl
2008 - Ellen Carrington Shelton
2012 - Chandler Lawson
2014 - Hayley Lewis
2015 – Hannah Robison Shellnut
2018 – Christine Williamson
2019 – Kerri Arnold