Bean wins Junior Miss competition

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 1, 2006

On Friday and Saturday evenings, 18 Shelby County young ladies graced the stage as a part of the Shelby County Junior Miss Program.

Sissy Bean, of Spain Park, daughter of Al and Betsy Bean, won the top scholarship and the fitness portion of the program, bringing home $3,500 in scholarship money.

Bean, who has participated in pageants at her high school, said the Junior Miss program is a new experience for her.

&8220;It was very different because we practiced every day for two weeks and I got to know the girls,&8221; Bean said, adding, &8220;I was the only one from Spain Park so I was forced to step out of my box.&8221;

For the talent portion, she danced a lyrical ballet to Via Dolorosa.

Rebekah Weaver, from Briarwood Christian, was first alternate, winning $1,600.

Krista Pederson won second alternate and the talent portion, which counts for 25 percent of the total score. She performed a ballet en pointe to &8220;Beauty and the Beast&8221; and was awarded $1,450 in scholarship money.

The high school seniors were judged on their scholastic achievement, an interview, their talent, personal fitness and self-expression.

The top three placers and winners of every category received scholarship money donated by area businesses. Ashlee Stiglich from Thompson High School won the self-expression award and Breanne Maraman from Oak Mountain High School won the scholastic award, with Kathryn Davis of Briarwood coming in second place.

Other finalists included Mary Katherine Foster and Paige Pittman, both of Briarwood, and Brittany Breeding of Hoover High School. Foster also won the &8220;Be Your Best Self&8221; essay contest.

The &8220;Spirit of Junior Miss&8221; winners, Jill Jenkins and Kathleen Boehme from Oak Mountain, were chosen by participants for being outstanding friends and supporters throughout the length of the program.

In total, Shelby County Junior Miss awarded $10,500 in cash scholarships to this year&8217;s participants.

Bean will now go on to participate in the Junior Miss &8220;Be Your Best Self&8221; program on a state level.

The program encourages younger girls and stresses the importance of living by moral principles, education, staying fit, proper nutrition, serving their community and setting and striving to reach goals.

Betsy Cooper, director of recruitment and wife of emcee David Cooper said she is a big Junior Miss supporter.

&8220;We have a great time. The friendships they develop are the most important thing. I know that many people might think we just say that but it&8217;s so true.&8221;