Maria Celeste Shepherd, 20, was crowned the fourth Miss Country Sunshine in the annual event held recently at Warren County High School. She is the daughter of Darlene and Richard Shepherd. She attends Lee University and sang for her talent.
Court members include: MerylAnne Dexter, daughter of Vanessa and Neal Dexter, first runner-up; Meribeth Holt, daughter of Glenda and Arnold Holt, second runner-up; Melanie Grace Rush, daughter of Susan and Greg Rush, third runner-up; and Jessica Daniel, daughter of Phyllis and Kenny Daniel, fourth runner-up.
Rush was also named the People’s Choice winner, and also earned the swimsuit award. The Edwin Partin Miss Congeniality award was presented to Jessica Daniel, and Dexter was awarded the talent award for singing presentation.
Shepherd will represent Warren County in the Miss Tennessee competition June 19-22 in Jackson. The reigning Miss Tennessee Chandler Lawson served as mistress of ceremonies, sharing with the crowd her experiences so far on her road to Miss America. She will represent Tennessee in the prestigious pageant to be held Jan. 12 in Las Vegas.
Miss Country Sunshine Outstanding Teen
Fifteen-year-old Courtney Samantha Miller was chosen Miss Country Sunshine Outstanding Teen. She is the daughter of Joanna and J.D. Miller, and presented an acrobatic dance routine for her talent.
Court members include: Kristen Oma Lee Gallant, daughter of Tracey and Ron Gallant, first runner-up; Kylee Bland Norris, daughter of April and Ronnie Norris, second runner-up; and Leslie Moulton, daughter of Connie Moulton and John Moulton, third runner-up. Moulton also was named People’s Choice.
Miller will compete in the Tennessee Outstanding Teen Pageant in March.
Miss Country Sunshine Princess
Warren County native Alyssa Danyelle Ledbetter, 14, claimed the Miss Country Sunshine Princess title. She is the daughter of Greg and Melanie Ledbetter, and is a student at Warren County High School.
First runner-up honors went to Baylee Ashlyn Nester, daughter of Tracy and Gary Nester, with second awarded to Andrea Fisher, daughter of Jamie and John Fisher.
People’s Choice honors were given to Kendall Lee Robbins, daughter of Jill and Rusty Robbins.
Miss Country Sunshine 2012 Caroline Carter, Outstanding Teen Camille Geer and Teen Princess Kristen Perry relinquished their titles and crowned their successors. Robert Farr is the pageant founder and director.