11 vie for Coal Queen crown

August 12, 2014
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Alexandria Wible
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Allie Christopher
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Alyssa Gallagher
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Delaney Noelle Hodgson
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Jenna Shumar
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Kaylee Ermine
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Nina Rivera
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Avonlea Keedy
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Erin Kline
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Faithlynn Walker
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Jenna Knisley

CARMICHAELS – Eleven young women will compete for the title of 2014 Pennsylvania Bituminous Coal Queen at 7 p.m. Sunday.

The 61st annual competition will be held at the State Theater in Uniontown this year because of renovations taking place in Carmichaels Area School District. Doors will open at 6 p.m. with numbered seating. Admission to the pageant is $10.

Young ladies who will be entering their senior year of high school this fall were eligible to compete at their respective high schools to become that district’s candidate for Pennsylvania Bituminous Coal Queen. The 11 girls chosen to participate in the 2014 pageant hail from Greene, Fayette and Washington counties in Pennsylvania and from Monongalia County in West Virginia. The winner Sunday will replace reigning 2013 Coal Queen Marina Stefano of Connellsville Area High School. Stefano, a daughter of Patrick and Christina Tesauro-Stefano, holds the distinction of being the first Coal Queen from Connellsville Area School District.

The Coal Queen competition is decided by three independent judges, hired from outside of the area, who are professionals in the fields of music, voice and dance. The judges score candidates based on talent, poise, evening gown and their answer to an interview question posed to them prior to the actual competition.

At the end of the evening, individual awards are presented for top scores in each category. One of the contestants will receive the Miss Congeniality award as selected by her fellow participants. An award is also given to the contestant who raises the most sponsorship money.

The evening culminates with the naming of the queen and her court, including first, second, third and fourth runners-up.

The 2014 candidates are, in alphabetical order:

• Allie Christopher, a daughter of Kenny and Tammy Christopher of Carmichaels, will represent Carmichaels Area High School. She will be singing “The Prayer,” by David Foster and Carole Bayer Sager, in both English and Italian. Christopher is a member of National Honor Society, senior high student council, Envirothon, the senior high chorus and ladies ensemble. Christopher was named the outstanding vocalist in the 2013 Music in the Parks competition at Busch Gardens.

• Kaylee Ermine, a daughter of Jo Francelle and Ed Ermine of Connellsville, will represent Geibel Catholic High School. She will be preforming a vocal and dance number. Ermine is a member of the volleyball team, cheerleading squad, chamber ensemble, pep band, math league, Students Against Destructive Decisions, Challenge Program committee, prom committee, musical, Spanish Honor Society, and student council.

• Alyssa Gallagher, daughter of Rodney Gallagher of Uniontown, will represent Laurel Highlands High School. She will be performing a dance number to “Watering Hole.” Gallagher is a member of the varsity cheerleading squad, Students Against Destructive Decisions and the math club. Gallagher was the 2012 National American Miss Pennsylvania Junior Teen.

• Delaney Noelle Hodgson, a daughter of Brent and Shelley Hodgson of Lake Lynn, will represent Albert Gallatin High School. She will perform a vocal selection. Hodgson is a member of the anti-bullying club, Students Taking Action Together Council, creative writing class, and participates in AGTV the Albert Gallatin public television station.

• Avonlea Keedy, a daughter of Brian and Amy Keedy of Connellsville, will represent Connellsville Area High School. She will be performing a musical theater/dance number to “Now a Days,” and “Hot Honey Rag.” Keedy is a member of the National Honor Society, yearbook staff, student council, thespian honor society, middle states program, prom committee, cheerleading squad, track and field team, musical and track team.

• Erin Kline, a daughter of Brad and Janette Kline of Rices Landing, will represent Jefferson-Morgan High School. She will be singing, “A Change in Me,” by Tim Rice and Alan Menken. Kline is a member of the National Honor Society, Leo club, Interact club, Envirothon team, drama club, Students Against Destructive Decisions, and vice-president of the student council.

• Jenna Knisley, a daughter of Patricia and Jim Knisley of Smock, will represent Uniontown High School. She will be performing a dance to “I Can’t Help Falling in Love.” She is a member of the track and field team, National Honor Society and is a class officer. Knisley was the freshman attendant to the homecoming court.

• Nina Rivera, a daughter of Chad and Eryan Coss of Waynesburg, will represent Waynesburg Central High School. She will perform a tap dance to “Mercy.” Rivera is a member of Alpha, drama club, Leo club, prom committee, creative writing club, Raider Review Newspaper, Students Against Destructive Decisions, ski club and student council.

• Jenna Shumar, a daughter of Diane and Kenneth Shumar of Brownsville, will represent Brownsville Area High School. She will perform a dance to “Mamma Knows Best.” Shumar is a member of the National Honor Society, student council, Interact club, Future is Mine, Tri-Hi-Y, Gateway program, academic league, Leo club, varsity soccer team, varsity track and field team, Thespian Society, Spanish Honor Society, Student in Action and Jefferson Awards.

• Faithlynn Walker, a daughter of Megan Walker of Fairview, W.Va., will represent Clay-Battelle High School. Walker is a member of the National Honor Society, Interact club, Leo club, yearbook editor, softball team, basketball team, and the cheerleading squad. She has attended Girls State and the West Virginia State Junior Trooper Academy.

• Alexandria Wible, a daughter of Kevin and Kellie Wible of Brownsville, will represent Bethlehem-Center High School. She will perform a tap dance to “Great Balls of Fire.” Wible has participated in the chorus, art showcase, and cheerleading. She is an honor student.

Tara Kinsell started her career in journalism with the National Geographic Insider Magazine and the Gaithersburg Gazette Newspaper in Montgomery County, Md. Tara has written and photographed sports, features and news stories for the Herald Standard, Greene County Messenger and Albert Gallatin Weekly. She holds degrees in journalism and graphic design from Waynesburg College, now Waynesburg University, and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, respectively.

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