Dozen Wayland coeds vying for 2009 pageant title

PLAINVIEW – As Plainview native Terra Watson prepares to bid her reign as Miss Wayland Baptist University goodbye, 12 young ladies are deep in the throes of rehearsals for the pageant that will culminate in one of them taking her place.

The annual Miss Wayland pageant returns Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. in Harral Auditorium, featuring a nod to the university centennial by honoring previous title holders. With the theme “The New Girl in Town,” the pageant will welcome back four former Miss Waylands as judges and another seven as guests for the event, which falls in the middle of Wayland’s centennial year.

Much like the university, the pageant itself has a rich history. Started in 1972 as a preliminary to Miss Texas, the Miss Wayland pageant has left a lineup of ladies who have represented the university in the community and often beyond. The future winner will be no different, as her year reign typically includes appearances at civic clubs, churches, banquets and other events as she is invited. Judges are instructed to choose a young woman who is a good all-around student and who possesses character – a great role model for younger girls with whom she will interact.

This year’s crop provides many options for such a title holder, and the pageant includes a talent presentation and evening gown competition to see many facets of the contestants. Following the opening number to the song from the musical “Hairspray,” emcee Jeff Kensmoe, assistant professor of vocal studies, will guide the audience through an evening of varied talents, a personal glimpse of the students and a final performance and walk by Watson before she crowns her successor.

“The opening number is just adorable, and the girls’ personalities really come out in the pageant,” said Ericka Miller, coordinator of student activities and the organizer of this year’s pageant. “I’ve really enjoyed this group and getting to know them.”

Miller, who joined the Wayland staff in July, is new to the pageant world, admitting she’s never attended a Miss Wayland event or any other pageant before. But armed with notes from Teresa Moore, director of student activities and leadership and the pageant’s organizer for the past few years, Miller feels confident she can rise to the challenge. Of course, she said she’s called on Moore’s expertise more times than she can recall, and notes that she “set the bar pretty high on this one.”

Still, late night rehearsals and lack of sleep have not tainted Miller’s excitement for the pageant and for what she sees as a beneficial experience for all the young ladies involved, even those who won’t walk away with the crown.

“I’ve already seen the girls grow and become more confident through the process, and I think they’ve had fun, too,” Miller said.

Contestants for the 2009 Miss Wayland title are as follows, listed alphabetically along with classification, hometown, parents, major, sponsorship and talent.

Casey Brazell: A sophomore from Lubbock, Casey is the daughter of Ricky and Jacque Brazell. A music education major, she is in International Choir – her sponsors for the pageant – leads a Freshman Ministries Bible study and teaches Music Together for the Academy of Fine Arts. She will sing for her talent.

Kristin Blakely: A junior from Borger, Kristin is the daughter of Steve and Roxanna Blakely. An elementary education major, she is sponsored by Baptist Student Ministries, where she serves on the leadership team. She is also in Student Foundation, Ministerial Fellowship and Student Alumni Council. She will perform a monologue for her talent

Jamie Clark: A sophomore from Amarillo, Jamie is the daughter of James and Rachel Clark. Sponsored by Ministerial Fellowship, she is a elementary education major who plans to pursue ministry. She is involved in BSM, is a Connect group leader and is secretary for Ministerial Fellowship. She will play the piano for her talent.

Joanna Jernigan: A junior from Shamrock, Joanna is the daughter of Joe and D’Anna Jernigan. Sponsored by Kappa Upsilon Chi fraternity, she is a recreation and camp management major. She is involved in Student Union Board, BSM, Judicial Council and the Ultimate Frisbee Players United. She will present a baking showcase for her talent.

Morgan Metcalf: A sophomore from Big Spring, Morgan is a church music major. The daughter of Sonya Metcalf, she is in the Pioneer Band and Student Foundation. Sponsored by the Jazz Band, she will play the flute for her talent.

Alissa Mitchell: A junior from Clinton, Okla., Alissa is a molecular biology major planning a career as an orthodontist. Sponsored by Student Union Board, she is in International Choir and the Pioneer Volleyball team. She is the daughter of Terrill and Chloe Mitchell and will sing for her talent.

Maggie Mitchell: A sophomore from Lubbock, Maggie is a pre-nursing major and a member of the Pioneer Soccer team and the judicial council. The daughter of Mike and Denice Mitchell, she is sponsored by Fleming Mays Tower, her dorm. She will give a soccer demonstration for her talent.

Rachel Morrison: A sophomore from Lockney, Rachel is the daughter of Calvin and Latesha Morrison. A psychology major, she is sponsored by Alpha Psi Omega and has been involved in theatre, Spanish Club, handbells and Habitat for Humanity. She will sing and play the piano.

Alayna Siebman: A junior from Childress, Alayna is an English education major. The daughter of Royce and Donna Siebman, she is president of Student Foundation and is involved in BSM, Student Alumni Council, SGA, Kappa Delta Pi and Sigma Tau Delta honor societies. Sponsored by Student Government Association, she will perform a swing dance for her talent.

Allison Vetter: A sophomore from Robinson, Allison is sponsored by Student Foundation, of which she is a member. A music education major, she is involved in BSM, Pioneer Band and is a Freshman Connect group leader. She is the daughter of Bob and Leann Vetter and will play the French horn for her talent.

Karen Wilson: A senior from Lubbock, Karen is sponsored by Alpha Delta Kappa sorority. The daughter of Hugh and Donna Wilson, she is a religion major with an emphasis on missions and plans to be a missionary. She is involved in ADK, Pioneer Band and Ministerial Fellowship and is senior class president. She will sing for her talent.

Katie Word: A sophomore from Abernathy, Katie is the daughter of Terrie Arevalos and Kyle and Kathy Word. She is sponsored by the Pioneer Band, of which she is a member, and is a music education major. She is also involved in Senate, Jazz Band and was on the Koinonia Task Force this year. She will sing and play the piano for her talent.