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Starling reigns as Miss SEHS
0420 miss sehs crown
Daniette Owens, Miss SEHS 2009, passes on her title to freshman Natalie Starling with help from SEHS Principal Dr. Mark Winters. - photo by Photo by Calli Arnold

There were nine contestants in this year’s Miss SEHS pageant, but freshman Natalie Starling took the tiara.

For the “Disco Heaven” themed event, the girls turned in résumés in order to compete in five different arenas to win scholarships and the title. They went through a preliminary interview with the four judges, and then showed off their most professional business attire where their appearance and the content of their introductory speeches were considered.

Then it was glitz and glam for the eveningwear and talent portions of the pageant. Finally, these five finalists exhibited their ability to think on their feet in an on-stage interview: Meredith Lamb, Katlyn Sheppard, Cora Wood, Stefenia Heyward and Natalie Starling.

Emcee for the night Troy Alford, school board member and voice of Mustangs football, asked the young women what their platform would be if they were competing in the Miss America pageant. Answers varied from encouraging teens to wear seatbelts, to giving blood and helping communities prepare for disasters.

Then it was time to crown Miss SEHS. Starling’s smile radiated as Miss SEHS 2009 Daniette Owens placed the sparkling crown on her. It shown brighter during her winner’s walk as her older sister and Miss SEHS 2008 Amanda ran to the foot of the stage with a giant bouquet of red roses.

“This was an amazing experience that helped in building my confidence,” said Starling. “It was a great opportunity to step out, take chances and do something different.”

The top three contestants were awarded scholarships for $200, $300 and $600 respectively. Second runner-up, highest GPA and Most Photogenic went to Meredith Lamb, and first runner-up and Miss Congeniality was Cora Wood. Miss Sophomore was Stefenia Heyward, Miss Junior was Brittany Jackson and Miss Senior was Renee James.

Natalie Starling is the daughter of Dr. Nathalie and Skip Starling. She plans to put her scholarship award toward her goal of attending the University of Georgia.