Taylor Clark of St. John took drumming to a new level as 2017 Miss Kansas Outstanding Teen, and had a fun year wearing the crown.

It was a fun year for Taylor Clark, the 2017 Miss Kansas Outstanding Teen from St. John, Kansas. With a population just over 1,000, Clark's hometown gave her a lot of support, but serving the Miss America corporation as Miss Outstanding Teen gave her a chance to meet a lot more people.
"I traveled each weekend and met more than 7,000 people, face to face," Clark said. "I got to do radio, television and personal interviews. It was just a lot of fun going around promoting both the national platform for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, and also my own personal platform of STEAM for teens. It's been a good year."
On Saturday, June, Clark will perform on the Miss Kansas Outstanding Teen stage one more time in Pratt, and then help crown the 2108 winner.
"I'm really excited for the 12 contestants we have this year," she said. "I will be there every day, not competing, just helping out this year. And, of course, I will be there the final night with the crown."
Clark is scheduled to perform and entertainment number during the MKOT competition, which starts at 2 p.m. on Saturday, but she isn't giving away any secrets about what she might be doing.
The talented teen is already well-known for her exciting drum solos, which earned her several individual awards last year as well as a talent award at the national MKOT contest last fall.
"It's going to be a surprise," she said. "Drumming for others has been a unique to me aspect of many of my appearances around the state this year. One school called me up just to have me come drum. That was really fun. But I'm keeping my performance for the finals this year under wraps."
Clark said she was looking forward to continuing her music endeavors this fall as a freshman at Kansas State University.
"I'm really looking forward to just immersing myself in the music culture there," she said. "I want to try to get in as many bands as I can."
Clark plans to be in the K-State drum line, percussion band and maybe even the jazz band.
With friends from band camp, high school friends, and acquaintances she has made through MKOT activities, Clark said she knows many people at K-State already and can't wait to get started there.
First though, comes an end to an exciting year of travel and service with the Miss Kansas organization.
"Probably the highlight of my year was when Krystian and I visited the neonatal intensive care unit at Via Christi in Wichita through Children's Miracle Network Hospitals," Clark said. "That was very special. Everything I encountered this year as goodwill ambassadors for CMNH will definitely play a part in my future."
Also playing a part in Clark's future is the scholarships she won through her talent competitions in the year just past. The non-finalist talent award she won at the national MKOT contest is paying a nice chunk of her up-coming college expenses.
 Clark it good fun that paid off, and will continue to pay off in many ways in years to come. She said one of the most important things she learned this year as 2017 MKOT was time management. Combining a busy high school senior schedule with Miss Kansas appearnaces wasn’t easy. She is hoping college life will settle down a little.
Clarks said she doesn't rule out future Miss Kansas competition, but for right now her focus is on college.