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McCormick taking aim at Miss Washington crown
By ASHLEY KAPSCH | For the Independent
Already honored with the 2013 Miss West Sound crown, Port Orchard’s Megan McCormick is on her way toward competing in the 2014 Miss Washington Pageant June 29 to July 5 at the Rainier Hotel and Conference Center in Seattle.
While competing in high school for scholarship money, McCormick won the title of Fathoms o’ Fun princess and Junior Miss Princess in 2007. But she ceased competing in pageants to focus on academics.
Thanks to the encouragement of friend, Megan Leibold, who was crowned Miss West Sound in 2012, McCormick threw herself back into pageantry.
Because of her continual in pageants, she will graduate with two degrees — debt free — due to the scholarship money she earned in November.
The South Kitsap High School graduate, who received her bachelor’s degree in musical art in 2009 from Pacific Lutheran University, is attending Central Washington University in Ellensburg. She is completing her first year of her master’s program for a doctorate of musical arts.
McCormick said she has learned to sell herself and build strong relationships with local businesses while managing her appearances as Miss West Sound.
But the Miss West Sound title comes with the heavy load of responsibility. She has an obligation to represent the community, the Miss West Sound program and to pursue her own education.
“Whenever the crown is on my head, I think of it as working,” said McCormick. “I am representing something larger than myself and must always be a positive role model.”
Her platform — One planet, one future: Citizen’s Climate Lobby — is one that McCormick feels strongly about. She wants to use her Miss West Sound title, and hopefully, Miss Washington, as a voice to influence people to make a positive impact on the environment.
At the Miss Washington pageant, McCormick will compete in five categories: interview, talent, lifestyle and fitness, onstage question, and evening wear.
By keeping up-to-date with current world and local problems, McCormick noted she’s preparing for potential questions.
She also is keeping up with her physical appearance and has every intention of performing the same talent she studies and practices daily: Opera. She will sing a comedic, yet difficult aria, entitle “Les Oiseaux Dans la Charmille” from Offenback’s “Les Contes d’Hoffmann.”
Juggling crown and education
Ever busy, McCormick said her obligations sometimes feel too numerous for her.
“My responsibilities first and foremost are to be a good student,” she said. “Beyond that, the rest of my time is being a good Miss West Sound. I put aside at least an hour a day to set up appearances, write thank you notes, or blog. I manage myself by setting priorities, keeping a good calendar, and relying on a great team. Weekdays are for school and weekends are committed to Miss West Sound.”
But instead of being overcome by the obstacles she faces, McCormick embraces them.
She urges women, young and old, “to take up the mantle and prove that our dreams and aspirations are worthy and attainable.”
If Megan wins the Miss Washington crown, she’ll represent the state at the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City in September.
McCormick said her time working with the Pearl Princesses program has been rewarding. The Pearl Princesses Program is offered by the Miss West Sound program for girls ages 6-11. The girls are mentored by Miss West Sound or Outstanding Teen contestants.
McCormick’s princess taught her more than she taught her.
She said Pearl Princess Bailey Watland taught her the meaning of commitment.
“In today’s world, we often tell people maybe because who knows what will happen next week,” said McCormick. “Bailey doesn’t care about ‘maybe.’ Either I can go to her baseball game or I can’t. Maybe really isn’t good enough.”
McCormick won the “Best Mentor” award during the program.