Riley Taylor named 2017 Miss PHS

PELHAM – Excited parents, teachers and students erupted into cheers Saturday night as PHS senior Riley Taylor was named Miss PHS at the Miss PHS Pageant held at the high school.

Taylor was selected from a group of 18 contestants. The ladies each performed a beauty walk in elegant, floor-length gowns and answered a question on stage for the judges.

For the first time in the pageant’s history, this year’s winner of the Miss PHS Pageant was awarded a $500 scholarship. PHS counselor and pageant committee member Laura Cochran said the school hopes to continue awarding scholarship money to winners in the future.

Cochran said Miss PHS will serve as a representative of the school and appear at functions as needed.

The 2016 Miss PHS winner Jenna Bennett attended to pageant to hand over the title to the 2017 winner. Bennett is now a freshman at Jacksonville State University.

Taylor is a part of Pelham’s theater department and is the president of the Thespian Honors Society.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” Taylor said about winning the title of Miss PHS. “There are no words. I was shocked but unbelievably happy.”

Taylor said she would love to be a role model for young girls.

“I want to inspire them and let them know that even though life can be rough sometimes, it’s going to be OK,” Taylor said.

Cochran said the 18 contestants began practicing their beauty walk and interview skills a week before the pageant.

Although Taylor won the highest title of the night, other contestants received awards a well.

Natalie Terry was named the first runner up, and Addison Watts was the second runner up.

Gina True was named Miss Congeniality, which is an award voted on by the pageant contestants. The award is given to the person who the girls felt was the friendliest and most helpful during pageant rehearsals.

Tori Peeler was named Most Photogenic. The girls submitted a photo of themselves prior to the pageant.

The top scoring contestants in each grade were named the Elite Winners. Kennedy Chambers was the ninth grade Elite Winner, Kylie Anderson was the 10th grade winner and Ryleigh Chambers the 11th grade Elite Winner.