A Truman High School graduate is one step closer to becoming Miss America.
Miss Tennessee Valley Hayley Lewis, a graduate of Truman High School and the daughter of Truman teacher and track and field coach Craig Lewis, won the 2014 Miss Tennessee Scholarship Pageant Saturday, June 21 at the Carl Perkins Civic Center in Jackson, Tenn.
Lewis, 21, said the pageant week has been "a wonderful experience," as the contestants built each other up. "I've definitely grounded myself more and found out a lot about my limitations and where I could push myself," Lewis said. "I am just thrilled to be here today."
Lewis, a student at Belmont University in Nashville, said she was ready to "get all packed up" for the Miss America pageant in September in Atlantic City, N.J. "I have become the young woman I have always wanted to be," Lewis said. "I have my goals set, and they are right in front of me, and it's all because of the Miss America organization and what it does for young women."
The final night of the Miss Tennessee pageant began with the announcement of the top 16 semifinalists, including Lewis. The 16 semifinalists then competed in the swimsuit and fitness portion, and judges selected 12 from the group to continue. The 12 women then performed their talents again, with the talents including fiddling, inspirational speaking and singing.
The top 10 semifinalists were selected afterward and then competed in the evening wear competition. Afterward, the top five contestants were selected, and Lewis was then crowned Miss Tennessee. Lewis will receive $13,000 in scholarships and earns a berth in the Miss America pageant on Sept. 14.