From left are Pre-Teen winner Shelby White, Teen winner Zaria Suttle and Miss Optimistic Iesha Dark.
The Miss Optimistic Talladega Pageant 2012 was held Saturday, June 23 at McFarlane Auditorium with 23 girls coming from schools across the county including Talladega, Sylacauga and Munford to participate in the pageant.

“Some of the girls have been in the pageant before, as well as other Optimist programs such as scholarship contests, youth appreciation, and Kids Speak Out,” said club member Beverly Williams.

"It's not winning that brings the girls back, it's the desire to improve their self confidence and the experience speaking on stage in front of an audience.”

“It's also the excitement of learning a new dance routine and meeting old friends and making new ones," said stage director Phyllis Patterson.

The pageant carries the theme "Beauty through Optimism," and the girls’ optimism and enthusiasm was evident during sign up, rehearsals and then on the stage for the pageant, Patterson said.

The winner of the 2012 Miss Optimistic category and Miss Photogenic was 16-year-old Iesha Dark.

Iesha is a junior at Munford High School.

First runner up was Catherine McConatha, 15-years-old and a sophomore at Sylacauga High School.

Jessica McKenzie was second runner up. She is a 15-year-old sophomore at Talladega High School.

Third runner up was 15-year-old Ta`Raven Swain. She is a sophomore at Talladega High School.

Winning Miss Teen Optimistic was Zaria Suttle. She is 14, and will be a freshman at Talladega High.

First runner up was 12-year-old Nyajza Jackson. She is in the eighth grade at Zora Ellis School.

Shunta VanHorn was second runner up. She is 14, and will be a freshman at Talladega High School.

Winning Miss Teen Photogenic was 12-year-old Victoria Fluker, who will be in the seventh grade at Zora Ellis School.

The winner of the Miss Pre-Teen category was Shelby White. She is 10-years-old and is in the fifth grade at B.B. Comer Elementary. Shelby also won Miss Pre-Teen Photogenic. First runner up was 11-year-old Sadie Fannin.

Sadie is in the sixth grade at Graham Elementary.

Kishada Swain was second runner up. She is 11-year-old and in the sixth grade at Houston Elementary.

© 2012