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Hunter to compete in state teen pageant

Farragut High School senior Dana Hunter has been selected to compete in the Miss Tennessee Teen pageant in Clarksville Oct. 21-23.

FHS guidance counselor Heather Waldron nominated Hunter in her junior year.

“I filled out the application and sent it in along with my school picture,” Hunter said. “I got a call and conducted an interview over the phone and then I was notified that I had been selected.”

Hunter is the only teen representing Knox County among the 70 young women competing from around the state. Lenior City and Seymour have representatives also.

Hunter is the daughter of James and Brenda Hunter. She has a brother Jay, a 2004 FHS graduate, who is a freshman at UT.

Hunter is a class representative of the Student Government Association and a member of Goody’s Fashion Board. She is a member of the Farragut Leadership Initiative and the Mu Alpha Theta math club, the treasurer of Health Occupations Students of America and president of Science Engineering Communication Math Enrichment at FHS.

She plans to attend medical school and pursue a career as a pediatrician. Hunter and 13 other FHS students are currently involved in a health and science internship. They were selected because of the courses they have taken and their grade point average. Austin Peay State University will host the Miss Tennessee Teen competition. The winners are awarded college scholarships.

“Everyone who enters the pageant goes home with some sort of gift,” Hunter said. “The top five contestants receive scholarships to the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga.”

Hunter’s mother, Brenda, said that after attending a seminar for all of the contestants and their parents she learned the competition is not based solely on beauty but rather how diverse the girls are.

“What they want to see is how well the girls compete on all of the levels,” Brenda said. She also noted that the judges are looking for strong leadership qualities as well as extra-curricular and community service activities.

The pageant includes an interview process. The teens also participate in a bathing suit and formal dress competitions. Hunter said that when she found out about the bathing suit competition she started spending a little more time at the gym. The contestants had to pick numbers to determine their place in line for the competition. Hunter picked No. 1, which she said makes her a little nervous.

“I set the stage for everyone else,” she said. “Mom and dad thought that being first in line was a good omen.”

Upon their arrival on Thursday, the teens are separated from their parents until after the competition. They learn dance routines for the show and begin their interview process. Hunter noted that many of the girls she met at the introduction seminar have had experience with pageants. She said some of the girls brought along pageant consultants and others pay a fee to learn proper pageant techniques.

“A lot of the girls knew exactly what to do,” she said. “This is my first pageant and it will probably be the only one that I do. I just thought that it would be a great experience and a lot of fun.”

Hunter said she needs to pay some dues in order to compete in the pageant, but officials recommended she sell some business ads in order to off-set some of the expenses.

The preliminary competition will begin at 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22 and the final competition is at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23.

Hunter’s father, James, said that he and Brenda are very proud of their daughter and all of her accomplishments. He added that they are looking forward to seeing Dana in the pageant.

“Dana is already my Miss Tennessee Teen,” James said. The winner of the Miss Tennessee Teen pageant will go on to compete in the Miss USA Teen pageant in 2005.


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