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Casie Russell Miss Highlands, McKenzie Reznicek Jr. Miss

HIGHLANDS – In one of the largest fields of competition in recent years, the 55th Annual Miss Highlands Pageant, and the 20th Annual Junior Miss Highlands Pageant took place last Saturday, Oct. 13.

Casie Russell was judged Miss Highlands, from a field of 10 contestants, and McKenzie Reznicek was judged Jr. Miss Highlands from a field of 15 contestants. Parents of Casie are Tonya Russell and David Kostka, and Virgil Russell. Parents of McKenzie are Jeffery and Melissa Reznicek.

Both girls had competed in previous pageants and won various awards. In addition, Casie’s sister Shelby Russell was Miss Highlands 2011, and Kendyll Reznicek was Jr. Miss Highlands 2010.

Large crowds of admirers, friends and family crowded the auditorium of Highlands Junior School on Saturday afternoon for the Miss Highlands pageant and judging, and in the evening the audience was present for the Miss Highlands events, as well as the Junior contestants from earlier in the day.

Master of Ceremonies for both events was Jeff Moore, managing partner of Sterling White Funeral Home, and Shelby Russell, Miss Highlands 2011.

Entertainment at the events was by Selena Shoemaker, and photography by Valerie Adame. Choreographer for the senior pageant was Eryn Cotten, and for the junior pageant Priya Patel. The pageant have been sponsored since the beginning by the Highlands Horizon organization. In charge of the Senior Pageant this year were club president Chrissa Cotten Teel, with Norma Cotten, Pam White, Jamie Gonzales, and Becky Baumbach. In charge of the Junior Pageant were Delene Cotten, with Carol Forrest, Kathryn Dunlop, and Laura Little.

Highlands Horizons uses proceeds from the Pageants for community projects, including scholarships. Last year they awarded eight scholarships to local youths. Receiving scholarships were Priya Patel, Lexi Edwards, Jenna Jackson, Abby Bogie, Elyssabeth Dunn, Zachry Houchins, Joe Colunga, and Madison Gibson.