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PCHS crowns Madison Branch Dream Girl Pageant winner

First-time pageant participant Madison Branch received the crown as 2022 Dream Girl during the annual Phil Campbell High School pageant, held March 11 in the school gym.

The overall winner comes from the senior division and is referred to as the Dream Girl, with the junior division winner receiving the title Junior Dream Girl. Presented by the Student Council, the pageant’s proceeds go toward funding the $500 scholarship given to the Dream Girl winner.

“It’s such an honor to win,” said Branch, a junior at PCHS, “and I feel blessed to be the 2022 Dream Girl. It has been a lot of fun, and I’ve had a great time with friends. This experience has helped me feel a lot more confident.”

Raegen Misner received recognition as first alternate, Alli Herring as second alternate, Rachel McCleese as third alternate and Christlin Hester as fourth alternate.

Seventh-grader Shiloh Madden received the Junior Dream girl crown.

“I’m really excited to be the 2022 Junior Dream Girl,” said Madden. “It’s been so much fun to be part of this pageant, and I’m very glad I got to participate.”

Alaina Burcham received recognition as first alternate, Anna Norton as second alternate, Lola Mays as third alternate and Kayden Headlee as fourth alternate.

Pageant coordinators included Luanne Vickery, Leann Moore and Taylor Godsey.

“The girls were all beautiful,” said Vickery, “and they did what we asked of them. I hope they all had a good time. It’s always very difficult to select a winner.”

Judges included Linda Brasell, Jane Houchins and Jamie Waits. Judging criteria included grades and an off-stage interview portion.

The audience voted for grade representatives. Winners were Shiloh Madden for seventh grade, Kayden Headlee for eighth grade, Lydia Garrison for the freshman, Macey Welborn for the sophomores, Allie Herring for the juniors and Harley Cummings for seniors.

On-stage events included an evening gown competition and production number performance, as well as the introduction of 2021 Dream Girl Josie May Warhurst and 2021 Junior Dream Girl Lara Brooke Gunderman.

Warhurst expressed her enthusiasm in getting to crown her successor. “It’s an honor to get to wear this crown for a year, and I’m pleased to be part of the beginning of another student’s journey in this experience.”

The 2021 Junior Dream Girl, Gunderman, explained that while winning is fun, that’s not what it’s really about. “My friends and I look forward to this pageant every year, and we love dressing up and having fun with friends old and new,” she said. “I’ve made friends I probably wouldn’t have on my own. That, along with watching yourself and your friends grow over the course of participating, really helps you get out of your comfort zone.”

Category awards included:

In the senior division, Harley Cummings won for best interview, Lydia Garrison won most photogenic and prettiest smile, Christlin Hester won best evening gown, Raegen Misner won the academic award, Madison Branch won for poise and appearance, Caitlin Demartin won prettiest hair and Hannah King won Miss Congeniality.

In the junior division, Shiloh Madden won best interview, most photogenic and prettiest smile. Anna Norton won best evening gown, Alaina Burcham won the academic award, Lola Mays won for poise and appearance and Anna Faye Prince won prettiest hair. For the title of Miss Congeniality, Kayden Headlee and Brooklyn Adams tied.

Principal Darit Riddle served as the master of ceremonies. “This is a well-loved tradition at our school,” said Riddle, “and I want to thank everyone who helped make it possible. All the winners are truly deserving and great representatives of our school.”

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