Barber and Callens crowned Miss Shelby County
By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON / Community Columnist
Hayley Barber was crowned Miss Shelby County 2016 and Kyra Callens was crowned Miss Shelby County Outstanding Teen 2016 at the Miss Shelby County Pageant on Friday, July 18, 2015, at Shelby County High School.
Ending their year-long reigns were Amanda Ford, Miss Shelby County 2015, and Tiara Pennington, Miss Shelby County Outstanding Teen 2015, both of Helena. Miss Alabama 2015 Med McGuffin emceed the pageant with Ford.
Sharing the stage with Barber, who also won the talent competition, was her Miss Shelby County Court: First runner-up Maddie Gathings; Second runner-up Cassidy Jacks; Third runner-up Kristen Robbins and Fourth runner-up Shiann Harper. Robbins won the Miss Congeniality “Sparkle” Award in memory of the late Vignette clubwomen Joyce Reach Smith.
Callens’ teen court was: First runner-up Sydney Slaughter, who also won the talent competition, and Second runner-up Annie Ozment.
Barber, a senior at UAB, is the daughter of Karon and Mark Barber of Pelham. She is majoring in marketing and pre-optometry and loves to paint and dance. Her platform is “Sight for Small Eyes,” a program that she initiated after working at UAB’s School of Optometry at age 16 where she saw the need for younger children to be screened early for eye problems. She has established a fund for children with low vision that are legally blind.
“I come from a very altruistic family who loves to serve others,” said Barber. “I saw the need to help young children get screened for their vision to help improve their sight. If is so rewarding to see a child out on glasses and see correctly for the first time.”
Barber won the Miss Shelby County’s Sonya Lefkovits and Susannah Higgins Moreland Community Service Award as well as the Miss Alabama Community Service Award for the last two years in 2014-2015.
Callens is the daughter of Cassandra and Michael Callens of North Shelby County. She is a junior at Oak Mountain High School, where she is a member of the National Honor Society, show choir and competitive show choir. She is an accomplished vocalist and dancer and has won national competitions and scholarships. She also won the Duke of Edinburg Silver Leadership Award, sponsored by the Miss Alabama Organization. Her platform is “We are Champions, Help Fight Breast Cancer” and has raised more than $6,000 for the American Cancer Society.