Theresa Vail, Manhattan, crowned Miss Kansas 2013
Miss Kansas 2013 brings some unusual qualifications and previous titles to the job.
Theresa Marie Vail, 22, of Manhattan, has earned titles of expert marksman and Soldier of the Month; she's the director of public relations for the hunting company Suburban Woodsman and is CEO and founder of the Miss Outdoor Girl brand.
She also sings opera and won a preliminary talent award Thursday for her performance of "Nessun Dorma." She added a second silver tray Friday for the swimsuit honors.
In the final phase of competition, she gave a prepared answer to the question: "From the classroom to the boardroom, from 5 to 95, Miss Kansas must be real and relatable. How do you meet that definition?"
"I've been a representative of the state since I joined the Kansas Army National Guard six years ago. It doesn't get more real than that."
She receives a $5,000 scholarship given by the Miss Kansas Scholarship Foundation and The Peoples Bank and the right to compete at the Miss America Pageant, which returns to its Atlantic City, N.J., birthplace in September.
The announcement was made at the end of three nights of performances at Pratt Community College that honored the titleholder celebrating a 50-year anniversary and tapped into the talents of several other members of the Former Miss K sisterhood.
Karen Raye Schwartz was crowned Miss Kansas in 1963 at the Pratt Municipal Building. She was named the most talented classical singer at the Miss America Pageant and was invited back the next year as a featured performer for the national telecast.
She married Rod Angle of Medicine Lodge. They served two years in the Peace Corps in the Republic of Panama. She worked as a social worker and then as a bus driver, and continued her musical education and performance. She serves as a Stephen Minister for her church and is a trained massage therapist. A Maryland resident since 2005, she will turn 70 this year.
Jane Schulte earned the title in 1973. As a principal entertainer, she sang "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," part of an arrangement for her 1973 talent, for one of several well-received numbers. Married to Mark Goodheart for 37 years, she lives in Bison, has five children and six grandchildren. She is employed by CPI Plan Consultants in Great Bend as a distribution specialist, sings and plays piano and organ.
Angelea Busby, Miss Kansas 2003, is a commercial real estate advisor in Washington, D.C., and is active in numerous philanthropic organizations.
Kim Dugger-Atwater (1990) and Emily Deaver (2008) performed a tribute to Miss Kansas Pageant executive directors, with a vocal duet of "Changed for the Better."
Also introduced were Becki Ronen Walenz (2009), Lauren Werhan (2010) and Carissa Kelley Anderson (2011).
Sloane Lewis, who earned the title last year and warned pageant-watchers to "get ready for something big," is standing by that philosophy as she gave up the title Saturday.
Pageant Week set some records for Pratt. In its 10th year, the Miss Kansas Outstanding Teen Pageant had its largest number of contestants, with 17.
The Sunflower Princesses, girls age 5-12 with a future interest in the MKOT and Miss Kansas program, numbered 61.
For the first time ever, the Miss Kansas Pageant reached an Internet audience, with pay-per-view coverage by Today For Tomorrow Productions.
And, for the first time ever, a member of the military was crowned Miss Kansas.