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Miss SEMS 2018 crowned
First runner-up Marissa Taylor (from left), Miss SEMS Riley Brown and second runner-up Brooke Rhoden - photo by Submitted

GUYTON -- On May 12, South Effingham Middle School’s annual Miss SEMS Pageant took place, honoring our country’s active service members and veterans.

The school’s pageant has become a tradition that is very popular among the student body, staff, friends and families.

Eighteen stunning contestants were judged in the categories of teacher recommendations, business/casual wear and evening gown. The top ten finalists were also asked an impromptu question to determine who would take home the title of Miss SEMS 2018.

All the contestants, parents, school staff /faculty -- and pageant directors, Mrs.Weber and Mrs. Callaway -- put in a tremendous amount of hard work, perseverance and diligence since March to make the "Bold Stripes, Bright Stars and Brave Hearts" production a success.

Seventh-grader Riley Browne, South’s very own athletic star, was crowned as Miss SEMS 2018. Riley was also named the most photogenic contestant.

The first runner-up was eighth-grader Marissa Taylor and eighth-grader Brooke Roden was crowned second runner-up.

Miss Sixth Grade was Rebecca Taylor, Miss Seventh Grade was Jayla Heightand Miss Eighth Grade was Bailey Batchelor.

Eighth-grader Lily Higdon received the Academic Award. Sixth-grader Katelyn Harris was awarded the People’s Choice Award and seventh-grader Jenna Griffin was voted on by the contestants to be Miss Spirit of SEMS.

This pageant is more than just a beauty contest for the contestants and for SEMS. South Effingham’s annual pageant is also a journey that helps these young ladies grow to become powerful women.

Many of the girls who participate in the pageant come out with more confidence and self-esteem, and they become more comfortable talking and performing in front of larger crowds.

All the contestants are also exemplary students who display much school pride and they participate in many extracurricular activities inside and outside of school grounds.

Miss SEMS 2018 Riley Browne said, “[She] will carry [her] title with pride and respect for not [herself], but for the school that has helped [her] mold into the young lady [she is] today.”  

The Miss SEMS pageant is always a night displaying not only great beauty but also personal growth, intelligence, and character.