41st Annual Miss RHS Pageant takes stage March 3
The 41st Annual Miss RHS Pageant will be held March 3 at 7 p.m. in the RCS Auditorium. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door.
The Russellville High School Annual Staff’s Miss RHS Pageant is the main fundraiser for the RHS Annual Staff, and all money raised will go toward making the price of yearbooks as cost effective as possible for students at RHS.
This year there will be 22 contestants in grades nine through 12 who take the stage in hopes of winning awards in the categories of interview, talent and evening gown. Grade representatives will be chosen for ninth through 11th grade, and first alternate, second alternate, third alternate and Miss RHS 2023 will all be chosen from the 12th grade. There will also be two additional awards: A Photogenic Award will be given in each grade, selected from contestants who chose to participate in this optional category, and a Viewer’s Choice Award will be presented to the contestant who receives the most votes the night of the pageant. These votes will come in the form of ticket stubs, and additional votes can be purchased for $1 each.
Kellie Singleton, who is in her first year as RHS Annual Staff sponsor and Miss RHS coordinator, said this is a great event the community won’t want to miss.
“This is so much more than just a beauty pageant,” Singleton said. “In 1984 Susie Malone turned the pageant into a scholarship pageant, and our winner will receive scholarship money that can help her further her educational career.
“These girls are being judged on more than just their appearance,” Singleton added. “They will be judged on their interview skills and how they interact with others; their poise and presence and how they present themselves; and their talent and ability to get up in front of a crowd and perform – and all the while, they are gaining self-confidence, learning how to be gracious and humble and learning more about themselves.
Singleton said Cindy Coan, pageant director, “does a wonderful job directing the pageant and making sure it is one of the best high school pageants in the state. It really is an excellent opportunity for our ladies at RHS to shine, and we’re very proud of this year’s contestants and their hard work in preparing for the event.”
The pageant will also feature 22 Little Sisters and 28 Rising Stars. The Little Sisters are Russellville Middle School students who were chosen by the contestants to introduce them during the talent competition. The Rising Stars come from Russellville Elementary and West Elementary, and they accompany their contestant onstage during the evening gown revue.
This has been an aspect of the event for several years now, and Coan said it’s been a great addition to the pageant.
“It has been great to see these younger girls have a role in the pageant and have a chance to get excited about it and hopefully look forward to being part of Miss RHS as a contestant once they reach high school,” Coan said. “We’ve already had contestants who were former Little Sisters or Rising Stars, so it seems like we’re certainly accomplishing the goal of sparking interest in the pageant in younger grades.”
The pageant will also feature special entertainment from the Addie’s Flip, Tip, and Tap Trio and from Miss RHS 2022 Madeline Cooper. Miss RHS 2021 Lauren Mae Sturdivant will emcee the event.
Singleton said she’s also extremely proud of the community’s support in the form of donations and ad sales.
“This being my first year as the coordinator, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when it came time for our Annual Staff students to start selling ads for the program or asking local businesses for donations toward the Miss RHS prize package,” Singleton said. “Our community showed up in a big way to support us, and I am so grateful. Because of their generosity, our Miss RHS 2023 will walk away with $3,000 worth of scholarships and prizes – the largest amount we’ve ever had. It will be a tremendous blessing to whichever young lady wins the title this year, and it’s all thanks to our community and local businesses.”
This year’s Miss RHS Prize Package Patrons are:
Rhett Bradford–State Farm, Valley State Bank, Artistic Jewelry, Miss Alabama Volunteer Pageant, Kameo Salon, Russellville Florist & Gifts, Campbell Vision Center, 43 Grill, Judah Nails & Spa, Maggie J’s Boutique, Salon St. Clair, American Health & Fitness, Russellville Nutrition, The Ville Nutrition, Hangout Nutrition, Joseph Romans Photography, Joyous Adventures with Cassie, Holly Nails, Lee Nails, Ms. Nails, Audrey’s Gifts & Décor, Farmhouse Table Café & Bakery, Los Dos Hermanos Market, Suzy’s Clothing, Aymee Gandy with Sugar Street Sweets, Hello Gorgeous and Wal-Mart.
This year’s program sponsors are:
43 Grill, Dr. and Mrs. Wayne Ray, Susie Hovater Malone, Pat and Teresa Seal, Russellville Mayor David Grissom, CB&S Bank, Community Spirit Bank, Valley State Bank, First Metro Bank, Jamie Lane–Exit River City Realty, Salon St. Clair, ML Docks, Russellville Pools, Arabella Health & Wellness of Russellville, Russellville Water & Sewer Board, Russellville Electric Board, Morgan Chiropractic, Graph-X Apparel, McGuire Farms, Dan and Sarah Terry–American Realty Company, Russellville Nutrition, Family Pharmacy Group, Brian’s Auto Sales, Cherry Tree Lane, AFTT Studio, Eyecare Professionals, Joseph A. Foster CPA, Campbell Vision Center, Rhett Bradford–State Farm and Hester’s Printing & Graphics.
This year’s contributors to the Miss RHS Alumni Scholarship, which provides cash prizes for the Miss RHS Court, are:
Greta Cooper, Madeline Cooper, Addie Pickett Harbin, AnnaKay Holland, Kaydee Holland, Susie Hovater Malone, Kara Coan Pendergrass, Lela Wright Ray, Amanda Ray Rushing, Erin Masterson Singletary, Kellie Seal Singleton, Lauren Mae Sturdivant and Maggie Coan Witt.
This year’s Viewer’s Choice Award is sponsored by Riverside Realty–Kiefer and Abbey Rea, and it will feature a gift from Grogan Jewelers by Lon. This year’s Miss RHS Alumni Prize is sponsored by Russellville Florist & Gifts. This year’s Contestant, Little Sister and Rising Star Donut Party was sponsored by AFTT Studio.
This year’s Miss RHS Little Sisters are:
Brandtley Benford, Khloe Burns, Ella Copeland, Doris Cotoc Chan, Erin Grimes, Macy Hall, Keyli Hargett, Madelyn Hatton, Adelyn Hester, Aubree Hyde, Audrey Claire Kiel, Lydia Kate Kiel, Aleya Lane, Bri McCulloch, Collins Odom, Sadie Odom, Grace Rogers, Blevyn Sappington, Adeleigh Smith, Rossio Velasquez, Ansley Willis and Madi Willis.
This year’s Miss RHS Rising Stars are:
Kensley Benford, Ava Bianco, Annalesa Bonds, Baylor Bradford, Tinley Cleveland, Amari De La Rosa, Carol Diaz Perez, Macy Ergle, Brilynn Green, Ruby Gist Harbin, Abby Rose Hein, Lyza Shaw Herring, Liveigh Hester, Hadley Kate Horton, Reagan Grace Jensen, Ellie Kastberg, Charlee Knight, Lupita Martinez, Callie Odom, Darby Pinkard, Addison Hope Rikard, Lillian Grace Ritter, Jade Valladres Rojas, Chloe Smith, Andi Blayke Tompkins, Layla Warren and Campbell Wright.
This year’s escorts are:
Jared Davis, Braxton Hipps, Brayden Malone, Will Morgan, Jamal Noel and Jacob Sturdivant.
Contestant 1: Lakin Masia Derrick
Talent: Piano with vocals, “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys
Lakin Masia Derrick is the daughter of Steve and Marcy Derrick. She is a freshman at Russellville High School and a member of the junior varsity tennis team, RHS ACapella, Future Business Leaders of America, Peer Helpers and RCS Rocketry Team.
Contestant 2: Emmy Elizabeth Green
Talent: Lyrical dance, “Hold on to Me” by Lauren Daigle
Emmy Elizabeth Green is the daughter of Milton and Cortney Green. She is a freshman at Russellville High School and a member of the junior varsity cheer squad, Future Business Leaders of America, Student Council and Fellowship of Christian Athletes and is active in the Tharptown Baptist Church Youth Group.
Contestant 3: Aidyn Kate Marshall
Talent: Pointe ballet dance, “Madre De La Tierra” by David Lanz
Aidyn Kate Marshall is the daughter of TJ and Bonnie Bendall and Wade Marshall. She is a freshman at Russellville High School and a Tigerette in the RHS M100. She is also a member of Future Business Leader of America, RCS Youth Leadership Academy, Peer Helpers and Christian Students United.
Contestant 4: Lily Cate Pace
Talent: Vocal performance, “At Last” by Etta James
Lily Cate Pace is the daughter of Brian and Jennifer Pace and Jenny and Jeremy Reed. She is a freshman at Russellville High School and is a member of the junior varsity cheer squad and the varsity tennis team. She is also a part of Christian Students United, the Student Praise Band at Tharptown Baptist Church and a Peer Helper.
Contestant 5: Ellie Willis
Talent: Clogging routine, “Honey I’m Good” by Andy Grammer
Ellie Willis is the daughter of Nick and Heather Willis. She is a freshman at Russellville High School and a member of the junior varsity cheer squad. She is also a member of the Annual Staff, Christian Students United, Future Business Leaders of America and the Calvary Baptist Church Youth Group.
Contestant 6: Ella Leeann Colagross
Talent: Tap dance routine, “It’s About That Walk” by Prince
Ella Leeann Colagross is the daughter of John and Brea Colagross. She is a sophomore at Russellville High School and serves as the junior varsity cheer captain. She is a member of the Student Council as sophomore class president and liason, serves as the vice president and project chairperson for the Technology Student Association and is a member of the RCS Youth Leadership Academy and Christian Students United.
Contestant 7: Hailey Rogers
Talent: Baton Routine, Taylor Swift remix
Hailey Rogers is the daughter of Neil and Stephanie Rogers. She is a sophomore at Russellville High School and an RHS M100 Majorette. She participates in baton competitions, is active in her church youth group praise band and is a member of the Student Council and Christian Students United.
Contestant 8: Destiny Taylor-Kate Elkins
Talent: Dance routine, “Rescue” by Lauren Daigle
Destiny Taylor-Kate Elkins is the daughter of Craig and Angela Bullion and Shane Elkins. She is a junior at Russellville High School and a member of the volleyball and softball teams. She is a member of Future Business Leaders of America and plays an active role in her church.
Contestant 9: Halle Reese Grimes
Talent: Piano performance, “Rewrite the Stars” by Milan Barke
Halle Reese Grimes is the daughter of Heath and Amy Grimes. She is a junior at Russellville High School and a member of the varsity cheerleading squad. She is also involved in Christian Students United, serves as project chairperson for Future Teachers of Alabama, is a member of the Franklin County Junior Leadership Program and was inducted into the National Technical Honor Society.
Contestant 10: Stella Claire Hill
Talent: Lyrical dance, “Bound to You” by Christina Aguilera
Stella Claire Hill is the daughter of Eric and Tara Hill. She is a junior at Russellville High School and a member of the varsity cheer squad. She serves as president of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America; vice president of Future Health Professionals; officer of the RCS Youth Leadership Academy; and is a dance and tumbling instructor.
Contestant 11: Peyton Parrish
Talent: Tap dance routine, “Dancing Fool” from Copacabana
Peyton Parrish is the daughter of Ralph and Suzanne Parrish. She is a junior at Russellville High School and a member of the varsity tennis team. She is part of the Franklin County Junior Leadership Program, serves as vice president of the Future Business Leaders of America, is a Big Sisters volunteer and a member of the Student Booster Club.
Contestant 12: Caylin Elizabeth Pinkard
Talent: Acro Jazz Dance, “The Way You Make Me Feel” by Michael Jackson
Caylin Elizabeth Pinkard is the daughter of Josh and Tabetha Pinkard. She is a junior at Russellville High School and a member of the varsity cheer squad. She is active in Future Teachers of America, Christian Students United and serves as a gymnastics and dance instructor.
Contestant 13: Drew Caroline Reed
Talent: Baton routine, “Shake the Room” by Gamu
Drew Caroline Reed is the daughter of Amy Reed and the late Steve Reed. She is a junior at Russellville High School and serves as an M100 majorette. She is a member of Future Business Leaders of America, Health Occupation Students of America and Christian Students United.
Contestant 14: Kaitlin Hope Speck
Talent: Vocal performance, “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Haley Reinhart
Kaitlin Hope Speck is the daughter of Chris and Talia Speck. She is a junior at Russellville High School and a member of the varsity tennis team. She is active in the Franklin County Junior Leadership Program, Future Business Leaders of America, Christian Students United and Future Teachers of America.
Contestant 15: Annie Willis
Talent: Clogging routine, “Hold My Hand” by Jess Glynne
Annie Willis is the daughter of Nick and Heather Willis. She is a junior at Russellville High School and a member of the varsity cheer squad. She serves as a mentor for Golden Tiger BIGS, is a member of Christian Students United and Future Business Leaders of America and is active in the Calvary Baptist Church Youth Group.
Contestant 16: Jennifer Madeleine Gutierrez Gamarro
Talent: Poem recitation, “Original Poet” by Maya Angelou
Jennifer Madeleine Gutierrez Gamarro is the daughter of Pedro L. Gutierrez and Grisela Gamarro. She is a senior at Russellville High School and a member of the cross-country and track teams. She is part of the Student Booster Club, participates in West Elementary School’s Afterschool Program and works in the concession stand at RHS soccer home games.
Contestant 17: Abigail Jimenez
Talent: Kama form demonstration, “Legend” by The Score
Abigail Jimenez is the daughter of Juan Jimenez and Melina Vargas. She is a senior at Russellville High School and serves as the creative director for the RCS Media Group and the artistic editor for the Annual Staff. She is a member of the M100 Marching Band, Health Occupation Students of America and the Key Club.
Contestant 18: Silvie Miller
Talent: Clogging routine, Elvis Presley Medley
Silvie Miller is the daughter of Lee and Trisha Miller. She is a senior at Russellville High School and serves as the varsity cheer co-captain. She is an All-American Cheerleader and received a UCA Staff invitation, serves as president of Future Teachers of Alabama and is a member of the National Society of High School Scholars, National Honor Society and the Class of 2023 Homecoming Court.
Contestant 19: Ashlee Channing Moon
Talent: Vocal performance, “Someone Like You” by Adele
Ashlee Channing Moon is the daughter of Chris and Monica Moon. She is a senior at Russellville High School and is a member of the volleyball team. She is a member of Future Teachers of Alabama, Student Booster Club and National Honor Society and served in the Franklin County Junior Leadership Program.
Contestant 20: Sarah Morgan
Talent: Acro jazz routine, “Let’s Get Loud” by Jennifer Lopez
Sarah Morgan is the daughter of Tom and Lauran Morgan. She is a senior at Russellville High School and was named the 2023 Distinguished Young Woman of Colbert Country. She serves as captain and media specialist for the varsity cheer squad, president of the National Honor Society, member of the ACT 30+ Club and was part of the Franklin County Junior Leadership Program.
Contestant 21: Yadmil Perez Gabriel
Talent: Vibraphone performance, “Impromptu No. 3” by Schubert
Yadmil Perez Gabriel is the daughter of Antonio and Leybi Perez Gabriel. She is a senior at Russellville High School and a member of the M100 Marching Band, in which she serves as a front ensemble section leader. She is the president of Future Business Leaders of America and serves as a Peer Helper and project chairperson of the National Honor Society. She is also a member of Christian Students United and the Annual Staff.
Contestant 22: Melanie Trejo
Talent: Guitar and vocal performance, “La Llorona” by Angela Aguilar
Melanie Trejo is the daughter of Susane Trejo. She is a senior at Russellville High School and a member of the soccer team. She is part of the Annual Staff, is a founding member of the RCS Media Group, was voted third alternate for the Class of 2023 Homecoming Court and served as creative director for the Homecoming Week Decorations Committee.