By BOBBY HORN JR.
HIGHLANDS Poise, presentation and the ability to think on ones feet. These are among the attributes for the teenager who is selected to represent the community as Miss Highlands.
Megan Lee demonstrated these abilities and more Saturday as she beat out a field of 13 to win the coveted Miss Highlands title.
The pageant, hosted by the Highlands Horizons, has been held every year (except 1957) as part of the Highlands Jamboree celebration. The competition began Saturday morning as contestants were judged as they rode in parade.
Later that evening a near-capacity crowd gathered at the Highlands Junior School auditorium for the pageant. Featuring a show tunes theme, the pageant began with the contestants in a dance number to Lady Marmalade from the musical Moulin Rouge. The opening number, which was choreographed by Brittany Dew and Tristanna Ford, was also part of the competition in which each girl receiving points that would be used as a tiebreaker.
This years master of ceremonies was Sterling-White Funeral Home General Manager David Pena, who was assisted by 2005 Miss Highlands Whitney Bell.
Saturdays competition consisted as three parts: sportswear, evening gown and interview. The sportswear and evening gown sections were judged on modeling and appearance while the interview tested the contestants ability to think on their feet.
Regarded by many contestants as the hardest part of the event, each candidate is given the same question that is kept secret until they are on stage. The other contestants are kept backstage where they can hear neither the question nor the response.
This years question was What is the best advice you could give to a freshman entering high school. While many suggested that freshmen be themselves and to concentrate hard on their studies, a couple warned freshmen not to buy elevator passes, listen to seniors or look for the third floor gymnasium.
One popular part of the pageant, which was scored for a separate award and did not figure into the Miss Highland title, was talent.
This years talent included singing, dancing, signing, an instrumental and dramatic monologue. At the close of the night, a number of special awards were given. Brianna Edwards won the talent award for her performance of Mandy Moores Only Hope.
During a mother-daughter tea before the pageant, each girl had her picture taken. A three-judge panel reviewed these photos and Courtney Briscoe was name Most Photogenic. Another award presented was the Congeniality Award. This award is considered a special honor in that it is voted on by the other contestants. Ashley Hicks won this years award. Miranda Martin was recognized as the contestant who pre-sold the most ticket to the pageant.
Jennie Robbins was known throughout Highlands for her dedication to the community. After her passing, the Highlands Horizons created the Jennie Robbins Community Service Award to honor her memory and to recognize the contestant who exemplified Robbins example.
]Robbins daughter, Kathryn Dunlop, presented the award to three girls this year: Candace Smith, Hicks and Briscoe.
In the final judging, Briscoe was named second runner-up while Rachel Bailey won first runner-up.
Earlier in the day, the 14th Annual Junior Miss Highlands Pageant was held.
With competition similar to the older girls, the junior high-aged contestants were judged on sportswear, party dress and interview. The girls interview question was If you could be invisible for one day, what would you want to do. Most of the girls would use the power to learn who was talking behind their backs, what boys really say about girls and to play tricks on friends and siblings.
Faith Drews won the talent award for her performance of Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Shelbi Wallace won Congeniality and high ticket sales while Lexi Edwards took the photogenic award.
Madison White was named Junior Miss Highlands. Emilee Traylor won first runner-up and LaKeisha Mitchell won second runner-up.
By BOBBY HORN JR.