• 70°

Hultz ready to compete for state crown

By By LYDIA GRIMES – Features Writer
Meghann Hultz is a very excited young lady this week. She is getting ready to make the trip to Montgomery to represent Escambia County in the Alabama Junior Miss program at the Montgomery Civic Center. It is an exciting time for her as she makes plans to leave on Jan. 10 to travel to Montgomery, but it is also a little scary as she will have no contact with her family until January 19 after the contest is over.
The 57 girls will compete for the titile of Alabama's Junior Miss and a share of the $45,000 in cash scholarships and $2.6 million in college-granted scholarships.
It is no wonder that Meghann entered the local contest. It was a sort of family tradition as both her mother and her older sister had also been a part of the program.
In 1999 Meghann was in the "Be Your Best Self" program which stresses the importance in a young lady's life of morality, integrity, honesty, love, respect and hope. It was adopted as America's Junior Miss platform in 1987 and has endeavored to promote young ladies to be positive role models in the lives of younger girls. They emphasize the need to say "no" to alcohol and drugs while saying "yes" to literacy and education and stress the importance of families and relationships. It also presents an opportunity for the girls to learn skills that will be useful when it comes their time to be part of the pageant. Everyone should try to do their best and the Be Your Best Self program gives the girls a platform from which to deliver that message.
In 2002 Meghann was part of the "Little Sister" program which gives potential pageant participates the opportunity to get even more involved. They give support and encouragement to the contestants and introduce themselves to having the opportunity to learn what it is like to be a contestant. That sets the stage for the next step which is to be a contestant in the Escambia County Junior Miss program.
Meghann was the little sister to Natalie Herrington in 2002 which actually took place early in the year. In the summer of 2002 she entered the county pageant. All contestants met at the Ag Center behind Southern Pine where they were told about the program and set up to learn the correct manners and makeup along with other useful information. The months of June and July were spent in practice and getting ready for the big day.
This was not the case with Meghann's little sister, Cate. She was a supporter from the very beginning and had her own opinion about what would happen.
Part of the process of the contest is to meet with various clubs around town for lunch. That teaches the girls to react with others and to be able to handle interviews. There are meetings, practice sessions and rules to be discussed. In the county contest there are five different categories which earn the girls percentage points. They are panel evaluation, which is a 10 minute interview with evaluators, poise, including 15 seconds for verbal response on topic given to all girls, talent, 90 seconds only beginning to end, fitness, 16 count highlight on each contestant and scholastic achievement, transcripts evaluated by scholastic panel.
In the 2003 Escambia County Junior Miss pageant, where Meghann Hultz was the winner, prizes were distributed in several categories. She won $2,500 in scholarships as the winner; Hannah Salter won $1,500 as first alternate; Tiffany Oliver won $1,250 as second alternate; Lindsey Smith won $1,000 as third alternate; Lindsey Smith won $600 for spirit of junior miss; April Pitts won $600 for fitness; Jessica Steadman won $600 for scholastic achievement and Tiffany Oliver won $600 for presence and composure and another $600 for talent.
She is participating in the National Honor Society, Neal Eagle Ambassadors, Mu Alpha Theta, All-State White Band, Who's Who Among American High School Students, Hoby, Auburn Honor Band, Patrick S. Gilmore Award for Band, Southern Pine Washington Youth Tour Representative and First Chair Flute.
January 10 Meghann will leave home for Montgomery for the state contest which will be Jan. 17 and Jan. 18. She will be staying in a host home for the length of time that she is away from her own home. She will not be able to talk with her parents during this time but her host family will stay in touch. The first preliminary competition will be Friday, Jan. 17 at 7:30 p.m. and the second preliminary will be Saturday, Jan. 18, at 1 p.m. The final competion will be Saturday, Jan. 18, at 7 p.m. The winner of that contest will be eligible to participate in the national contest in Mobile in June 2003.
Meghann was born in North Carolina while her father was stationed there in the marines. They moved around some and at the age of five, she moved to East Brewton with her mother, Teresa, when her parents were divorced. Her mother remarried to Kenny Hultz and the girls were adopted by him. The family was originally from this area and had relatives nearby. Meghann is 17 years old, grew up in the schools of East Brewton and will graduate from W.S. Neal High School in 2003. She has two sisters, Misty (21) who is attending AUM and is planning to be physical education teacher and Cate (11) who is convinced her sister will win. Teresa Hultz is an English teacher at Flomaton High School where she has taught for several years.
She plays the flute in concerts and small groups but she has to put her instrument down when it comes to the marching band when she serves as co-captain of the majorette team.
She has plans to attend Auburn next year to study music. She wants to become a band director and plans to audition for the Auburn band in February. Whatever she does with her future, one can be sure that she will do it well. She is a mature 17-year-old who plans to work hard to achieve her goals.