Contestants set for annual queen contest
A field of 21 young women from across Saline County will vie Saturday evening for the right to reign over county fair activities later this summer.
The queen contest, as is the tradition, will cap the day-long Saline County Barbecue on the Marshall square, an event which raises funds for the youth premiums given away at the county fair in July. The barbecue is also the sole fund-raising activity that supports the fair premiums.
Lunch and dinner meals will be served, with the queen contests taking place on the south side of the square following the amateur talent competition. The junior queen contest will start the evening at 8 p.m., followed by the senior queen competition.
Nina Jennings, organizer of the queen competition, explained that along with attending all county fair events the senior winner will receive a $250 scholarship and represent Saline County during the Queen of Fairs competition at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia.
Girls ages 14 to 17 and still in high school are eligible to compete in the junior division, with the seniors field made up of girls ages 17 to 21 who are no longer in high school.
The public portion of the queen contest is the evening gown competition and all contestants will also go through an interview earlier in the day with the three-judge panel. The interview is worth a maximum of 100 points and the evening gown section is worth up to 50 points.
This year's judges include Betsy Dierker of Waverly, managed care coordinator at Fitzgibbon Hospital; Rusty Kahrs of Hughesville, Pettis County commissioner and first vice president of the Missouri Cattlemen's Association; and Crystal Walker, a student at the University of Missouri-Columbia whose titles include Jasper County Youth Fair princess, Maple Leaf Queen, 2001 Missouri Beef Ambassador, 2002 Missouri Beef Queen and 2002 national beef ambassador.
The flower girl for the queen contest will be Kera Eskew, daughter of Gary and Felicia Eskew of Miami. The crown bearer will be Joe Pollard, son of Steve and Kris Pollard of Miami.
Following is brief biographical information about the queen candidates:
Julie Ann Croka
Julie Croka, 18, is the daughter of Delmer Croka of rural Blackburn and is sponsored by the 4-H Junior Leaders and Lucky Leaf 4-H Club.
She is a graduate of Santa Fe High School and her hobbies include shooting sports, playing with animals, singing, playing the flute and being with friends. Her school and community activities are 4-H, SADD, serving as vice president of her 4-H club, secretary of 4-H Junior Leaders, band, chorus, basketball, volleyball, track and drama club.
Honors received by Croka include being inducted into the National Honor Society, receiving a II rating on her vocal music solo, being accepted to participate in conservation honors programs in the summer of 2002 and receiving the Patrick S. Gilmore Band Award.
Alicia Danielle Hisle
Alicia Hisle, 18, is the daughter of Steve and Sandy Hisle of rural Marshall and is sponsored by the Fairville-Reynolds 4-H Club.
She graduated from Marshall High School in May 2003 and her hobbies include riding horses.
She is a member of the National Honor Society, 4-H and BIONIC Club at MHS. She has been an employee at the Marshall Wal-Mart the past two years.
Her honors include being named to "Who's Who Among American High School Students" and taking part in the A-plus Schools program.
Lisa Lynette Huffman
Lisa Huffman, 18, is the daughter of Bobby and Edy Huffman of rural Malta Bend and is sponsored by the Work to Win 4-H Club.
Huffman is a graduate of Malta Bend High School and her hobbies are barrel racing, showing rabbits, working with animals and singing.
She has been a member of 4-H for nine years, FFA for four years, and also participated in chorus, band, SADD for two years, FCCLA for two years, three years of cheerleading including one year as captain, three years of basketball, four years of track and three years of softball.
Huffman's honors include the John Philip Sousa Band Award, national school choral award, speech and drama, journalism achievement award, and awards in softball, 4-H and FFA.
Kelsey Horman, 20, is the daughter of Randy and Gina Horman of rural Concordia and is sponsored by the Kennedy 4-H Club.
She is a student a Central Missouri State University and is majoring in nursing. Her hobbies include shopping, working, showing animals, listening to music and baby-sitting.
Horman's school and community activities include Holy Cross Lutheran youth group, Sweet Springs FFA, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Kennedy 4-H Club and the CMSU Student Nursing Association.
She has been named to the "Who's Who" listings and received her State FFA Degree, state FFA leadership award and been involved in 4-H for 10 years. She has received 4-H awards for leadership and showmanship.
Ashley Elizabeth Lewis
Ashley Lewis, 18, is the daughter of Kenny and Janet Lewis of Marshall and is sponsored by the Bizy Beavers 4-H Club.
She is attending the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she plans to major in a health-related profession or education. Her hobbies include playing sports, hanging out with friends, family activities and scrapbooking.
Lewis was named to "Who's Who Among American High School Students," ranked in the top 4 percent of her Marshall High School class, was 2003 MHS Courtwarming queen, earned all-NCMC honorable mention honors in volleyball and received the MHS Chris Conley Award.
Emily Kae Melies
Emily Melies, 18, is the daughter of Pete and Dana Melies of rural Sweet Springs and is sponsored by the Liberty 4-H Club.
Melies is a 2003 graduate of Sweet Springs High School, planning to attend the University of Missouri-Columbia and pursue a degree in agricultural journalism. Her hobbies include volleyball, running, cooking and shopping with friends.
Her school and community activites include being a member of National Honor Society, Student Council, FFA, FBLA and FCA. She has been a DARE role model and taken part in volleyball, track, cheerleading and quiz bowl at Sweet Springs High School. She also shows livestock and is active in her church youth group.
Honors received by Melies include being named to "Who's Who Among American High School Students," the Sweet Springs high honor roll, being named a UCA all-star cheerleader, attending Missouri Girls State and receiving a citizenship award. She has also earned all-state recognition in track, been a state qualifer in ag sales, served as class officer and Student Council president and Homecoming queen.
Mindy Jo Montgomery
Mindy Montgomery, 18, is the daughter of Bobby and Connie Mont-gomery of Marshall and is sponsored by the Malta Bend FFA Chapter. She will be attending the University of Missouri-Columbia and plans to study animal science and biochemistry. Her hobbies include exercising at the Salt Fork YMCA, working at Orscheln, showing and caring for registered Angus cattle and showing market lambs.
Honors received by Montgomery include being named Junior Miss Saline County in 2001, earning a college preparatory studies certificate, receiving the State FFA Degree, being named first runner-up at the 2001 and 2002 Missouri Beef Ambassador contest and making the national honor roll.
Amie Nicole Ragan
Amie Ragan, 18, is the daughter of Kevin and Rinda Ragan of Marshall and is sponsored by Town and Country 4-H Club.
Ragan is a graduate of Marshall High School and her hobbies include horseback riding, taking care of animals, planting flowers and plants and talking to people.
Among her school and community activities are four years in FFA, two years of cheerleading, two years in the MHS Singers and one year in forensics at MHS.
Michelle Robbins, 18, is the daughter of David and Elaine Robbins of Marshall and is sponsored by the Marshall FFA Chapter.
Robbins plans to attend the University of Missouri-Columbia and major in physical therapy. Her hobbies include playing the violin, camping with family, riding horses and working with livestock on the family farm.
She has received the State FFA Degree, gone to state FFA competition in advanced public speaking and was named 2002-2003 Marshall FFA Member of the Year. She was also a 2002-03 volleyball team leader and an Area 6 FFA officer this past year.
Amanda Marie Bock
Amanda Bock, 16, is the daughter of David and Pamela Bock and is sponsored by the Lucky Leaf 4-H Club.
She is a student at Santa Fe High School and her hobbies include swimming, horseback riding and showing steers and rabbits.
Bock's activities include Math Club, Spanish Club, band, chorus, track, volleyball, basketball, FFA horse judging team, church youth group, 4-H and FFA.
Among honors, Bock lists serving as Lucky Leaf 4-H president, secretary of the Santa Fe FFA Chapter, taking second place in high jump at the conference track meet, qualifying for the Patricia Stevens Model Award and ranking fourth in her class.
Megan Leanne Dysart
Megan Dysart, 15, is the daughter of Edward L. and Ina Dysart of rural Marshall and is sponsored by the 4-H Junior Leaders.
Dysart will be a sophomore at Marshall High School and lists swimming, cross-stitching and playing piano and cello among her hobbies.
Her school and community activities include the MHS orchestra, Pep Club, Future Teachers of America, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and attending First Presbyterian Church.
Honors received by Dysart include being named to the A honor roll, receiving the Presidential Academic Award, academic excellence award at MHS and being the 2002 4-H high-point female winner for Saline County Fair entries in the multipurpose building.
Missy Eilers, 17, is the daughter of Glenn and Barb Eilers of Marshall and is sponsored by the Bizy Beavers 4-H Club.
She is a student at Marshall High School and lists her hobbies as sewing, reading and spending time with friends.
Eilers' activities include varsity cheerleading for three years, two years of varsity tennis, serving as president of her 4-H club for two years and reporter for one year, three years on the MHS Student Council, three years of participating in summer missions and three years with the MHS Singers.
Her honors include being named to the National Honor Society, going to Girls State in 2003, being listed as a United States Academy scholar, earning a spot on the honor roll and being named on the list of "Who's Who Among American High School Students."
Kali Nichole Hedrick
Kali Hedrick, 15, is the daughter of Alan and Tammy Wilson of Miami and the late Dale Charleton and is sponsored by the Fairville-Reynolds 4-H Club.
She will be a sophomore at Marshall High School and enjoys playing sports, helping at Noah's Ark Preschool, modeling, participating in 4-H, running and being active.
Hedrick's activities include cheerleading for the football team, playing freshman basketball and participating in varsity track, Pep Club, International Cultural Club, 4-H and Student Council.
Hedrick was voted freshman class secretary, served as cheerleading captain and was named Mid-Day Optimist Club Student of the Year for 2002. Her other honors include serving as 4-H club president, becoming a Glamour Model dresswear winner, making the B honor roll in 2002-03 and winning the title of champion for the 2002 Fashion Revue for the category of "Clothes You Make" and reserve champion for "Clothes You Buy."
Kasey Michelle Johnson
Kasey Johnson, 14, is the daughter of Linda Johnson of rural Slater and is sponsored by the Clay Center 4-H Club.
Having finished eighth grade at Hardeman, Johnson's hobbies include playing sports, making porcelain dolls and other crafts and listening to music.
Johnson's activities include participatin in 4-H and her church youth group.
She has received the honor of being listed on the B honor roll and being named "Outstanding 12-year-old" in 4-H.
Chenoa Yvonne Koch
Chenoa Koch, 15, is the daughter of Ralph and Roxanne Koch of Sweet Springs and is sponsored by Sweet Springs High School.
She is a student at Sweet Springs High School and her hobbies include playing sports, listening to music, fishing, reading and riding all-terrain vehicles.
Koch's activities include FFA, playing sports, baby-sitting and participating in church and community projects.
Her honors include being a member of the Junior National Honor Society, being on the "Who's Who" list and being named on the honor roll each year at school.
Kirby Marie Kueker
Kirby Kueker, 17, is the daughter of David and Janice Kueker of rural Marshall and is sponsored by the Marshall FFA Chapter.
She will be a senior at Marshall High School and her hobbies include riding horses, spending time with family and friends and shopping. Kueker is a member of First Christian Church and is active in FFA.
She is currently serving as Marshall FFA president and Area 6 chaplain. She served as Marshall FFA chaplain for 2002-03 and received the Star Chapter Greenhand award and Area FFA Degree.
Jaqueline Suzanne Malan
Jaqueline Malan, 15, daughter of Dale and DeAnn Malan of rural Malta Bend, is sponsored by the Work-to-Win 4-H Club.
She will be a sophomore at Santa Fe High School and her hobbies include playing volleyball and softball, reading, participatnig in youth group activities, camping, four-wheeler riding, helping on the farm and spending time with family and friends.
Malan's activities include her membership at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church and in FCCLA, SADD, FBLA and Math Club, participation in school volleyball and softball teams, eight years as a member in Work-to-Win 4-H Club and holding various offices in the club, such as her current office of vice president.
Her honors include receiving the President's Excellence in Education Gold Award, the NAESP Citizenshop Award, being a Region 12 FBLA officer and serving as treasurer of FCCLA and SADD.
Rhiannon Nicole Monnig
Rhiannon Monnig of rural Gilliam is the daughter of Bert Monnig, Jeannie Mc-Guire and Jason McGuire and is sponsored by the Slater FFA chapter.
She will be a junior at Slater High School and enjoys playing basketball and softball, spending time with family and friends and riding four-wheelers.
Monnig's activities include varsity softball and basketball and participating in FFA, NHS, S Club, the A-plus Schools program and SAMS.
Her honors include being elected sophomore class president, winning presidential awards, having a poem published, being listed on "Who's Who Among American High School Students" a being recognized for FFA Knowledge Team achievement.
Emma Lee Pfizenmaier
Emma Pfizenmaier, 15, daughter of Pam Deutsch and Scott Pfizenmaier, both of Marshall, is sponsored by the Town and Country 4-H Club.
She will be a sophomore at Marshall High School. Her hobbies include playing and listening to music, participating in drama, reading and making crafts.
Pfizenmaier's activities include her participation in the MHS academic team, cross country, band, jazz band, school plays, choir, 4-H, 4-H Junior Leaders, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Lutheran Youth Fellowship and serving as a youth counselor at Bible school and camp.
She was selected for the All-District Honors Band and MHS Singers, received a I rating for a clarinet solo, earned an 11.0 grade-point average on an 11.0-scale, won the Academic Excellence Award and was elected 4-H club president.
Meredith Alissa Thornton
Meredith Thornton, 15, is the daughter of Stanley and Wanda Thorn-ton of rural Sweet Springs and is sponsored by the Liberty 4-H Club.
She will be a sophomore and enjoys volleyball, swimming, spending time with friends, playing the piano and participating in youth group.
Her activities include FFA, FBLA, volleyball, basketball, 4-H, youth group at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, NJHS and 4-H Council.
Thornton's honors include serving as 4-H club vice president, freshman class president, a listing in "Who's Who Among American High School Students," being named to the high honor roll, 2002 Top Academic Recognition, FFA High Honor Award for Knowledge Team and winning state awards for 4-H projects.
Kathryn "Katie" Wright Tyre
Katie Tyre, 15, is the daughter of Jim and Kathy Tyre of rural Slater, and is sponsored by the Orearville 4-H Club.
She is a student at Slater High School and her hobbies include playing softball and basketball, showing pictures, scrapbooking, collecting stamps and spending time with family and friends.
Tyre's activities include varsity softball, basketball, track, S-Club, serving as a freshman class officer and participating in 4-H and FFA.
She received honors as an S-Club Tri Athlete and won a sportsmanship award. Tyre has also earned swine showmanship awards, gold and silver presidential awards and an award for outstanding achievement in the Missouri State Fair Fashion Revue.