On Saturday February 27 Walker High School senior Hayley Jones won the title of Miss Walker County. Hayley has been working on winning this title for years, entering three preliminaries and the Junior Miss Program before entering Miss Walker County. This was the 38th year of the Miss Walker County pageant. Hayley received $1,800 in cash scholarships, along with many presents from local businesses. All four of the runners up and winner were somehow related to Walker High School. Kayla Higgins, Sumiton Christian senior and Walker High School counselor, Mrs. Jolei Higgins, daughter was the first runner up and the winner of the talent competition receving $1,700 in scholarships. Kelley Roberts, Walker High School graduate and now a sophomore at the University of Alabama, was second runner up and winner of the Leigh Sherer award and the Nelson and Dorothy Hudson memorial award receiving a total of $1,700 in cash scholarships. Third runner up was Jordana Johnson, Walker High School graduate and now a student at Bevill State, earning $800 in cash scholarships. Members of Walker’s Key Club and Anchor Club helped with the pageant by setting up the Thursday before the pageant. These students earned community service hours and helped all the people working on the pageant.
Hayley has been playing the piano for twelve years. “The scariest part about being in Miss Walker County is performing your talent.” she said. She preformed on the piano Chopin’s “Waltz in D flat Major Op 64 No. 1.” She continued to say, “I was nervous because it is easier to mess up playing the piano than anything else.”
Hayley prepared for Miss Walker County by having interview practice, playing the piano for numerous hours everyday, working out for the swimsuit and fitness competition, and by having many dress fittings. “You must have the most self confidence when you are on stage in your swimsuit, because you do not have anything to hide under,” Hayley said.
The private interview with the judges counts 25% of each girl’s total score. Hayley told us of some of the questions they asked her. “They asked me about my opinion on bingo, and how I would promote Walker County.” The judges also asked if she has a quote she lives by each day, Hayley responded with “Everyone wants to walk away at the end of the day feeling like they made a difference.” Each girl is required to have a platform and Hayley’s is “Lend a Hand Community Service”.
“My mom is my best friend and helped me so much; she was just as worn out as I was! All of my family and friends supported me through all of this.” Hayley also said “All the sweet notes on Facebook and all the sweet text messages were very encouraging and showed me all the support I have.”
Hayley will compete in the Miss Alabama Pageant, June 9-12 in Birmingham at Samford University. She plans to continue preparing the same way she did for Miss Walker County but knows that she will have to put much more time into it and it will be a bigger challenge.
Congratulations Hayley! We are all so proud of you and are excited to have a Walker High School student representing us in the Miss Alabama Pageant. Good luck at state!
By: Julianna Hallman