2009 Junior Miss Program

Published 2:13 pm Thursday, January 31, 2008

Nerves were high and smiles bright as the Picayune Auditorium played host to the Picayune and Pearl River County Jr. Miss program of 2009.

The Junior Miss Program is a nationwide scholarship program, and winners at the local level will go on to compete at the state level in Meridian. The 2009 local winner for Picayune was Alexandra M. Parker. The 2009 local winner for Pearl River County was Rebekkah Anne Unbehagan.

The theme of the evening’s program was “Welcome to the Sixties”. Scores of dance routines were performed to sixties era music with lots of numbers based on the musical “Hairspray”. Local dance schools shined with their competition teams, and the Jr. Miss Ambassadors also got a chance to entertain the audience. The 2008 Junior Miss winners, Sara Marie Travis, 2008 Picayune Jr. Miss and Jordan Marie Kellar, 2008 Pearl River County Jr. Miss, were on hand to give their farewell speeches and perform one last time as the reigning local champions before turning over their titles.

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The 11 participants of the competition were judged based on their interview skills, 25%, talent, 25%, scholastic achievement, 20%, self-expression, 15%, and fitness, 15%. While the scholastic and interview portions were judged outside of the Saturday evening presentation, all other categories were performed in front of a packed auditorium audience. Grace under pressure was the name of the game for all of the young women who competed.

Participants were Martisha Marcell Hurd, PMHS student; Alexandra M. Parker, PMHS student; Ne’Kia Valerie Carter, PMHS student; Rebekkah Anne Unbehagan, Mississippi School of the Arts student; Hayleigh Pearson McCardle, PRCHS student; Hailey Dawn Lauzon, PRCHS student; Melissa Lynne Pigott, PMHS student; Kellie Elizabeth Lumpkin, PMHS student; Kristina Nicole Williams, PRCHS student, Brittney Joelle Smith, PRCHS student and Alisha Kaylin Bertrand, Poplarville High School student.

Several scholarships were provided by local businesses and organizations that sponsored the event including Bank Plus, Scholarship to Interview Winner; Civic Woman’s Club, Scholarship to Talent Winner; Coca Cola, Scholarship to Scholastic Winner; First Southern Bank, Scholarship to Fitness Winner and First National Bank of Picayune provided both the Scholarship to Poise Winner and the Scholarship to the “Be your Best Self” Essay Winner.

For Picayune, Parker took the awards for “Be your Best Self”, Coca-Cola scholastic , and of course the title of 2009 Picayune Junior Miss. Hurd placed first runner-up.

For Pearl River County, Pigott took the awards for Spirit, Coca-Cola scholastic, the Marilyn Lumpkin interview, and first runner-up. Lumpkin was the winner for “Best your Best Self” and self-expression. Third runner-up was Lauzon and second runner-up was McCardle. Talent and fitness winner was Unbehagan, who was also the PRC Junior Miss for 2009.

Best of luck to Parker and Unbehagan was they move forward to the state competition in Meridian on July 24 – 26, 2008.