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Poland pageant winner much more than a pretty face

August 29, 2012
By Kathleen Palumbo , Town Crier correspondent

Coed in the old sense of "female student," the Miss American Coed Pageant conducts an ongoing search for young ladies displaying substance, career aspirations, and goals. This year, one Poland Seminary High School student met the criteria, earning the highest award given, that of queen, in the Ohio Teen Scholarship Pageant during the 29th annual State Competition of the Miss American Coed Pageant.

The daughter of Anthony and Cheryl Saculla, PSHS senior Hallie Saculla participates in flag line, show choir, Italian Club, and the Leadership Club, is a member of the National Honor Society, and shared her aspirations for the field of mass communications and broadcast journalism. She said that in the future she may choose to work for a sports channel and is investigating colleges with strong journalism programs.

Sharing that her pageant history began when she received a flier from National American Miss Pageants, Saculla said she first competed through NAM, earning various titles.

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Photo special to Town Crier
Scholarship Pageant during their recent 29th State Competition, Poland Seminary High School student Hallie Saculla will travel to Florida in November, where she will compete for the National Title of Miss American Co-Ed Teen.

"I liked what I got from it and wanted to do more," she said.

Her first time competing with Miss American Coed, she was first runner-up to the queen, and this year, earned the titles of Queen, Most Photogenic, Best Eyes, Best Smile, and Best Interview. In November, Saculla will travel to the Hilton Resort at Walt Disney World in Florida, where she will compete for the National Title of Miss American Co-Ed Teen.

Noting the support of her closest friends, Saculla said she plans to have them with her next year when the time will come to give up her crown. Until then, she bears the responsibility of volunteerism, promotion of her title and herself, being a good role model, and having a platform.

Regarding her choice of literacy for her platform, "I always loved reading," Saculla said, adding that she was reading chapter books in first grade.

Sharing that although she believes electronic readers are assisting in a shift, she doesn't think kids read as much today,

"I want to bring that back," she said.

However recent her crowning, Saculla's dedication to volunteerism is already under way as well. Having contacted her sister queens to be community volunteers for the recent Panerathon 10K for breast cancer, Saculla was joined by fellow queens from as far as Akron and Toledo.

Saculla's mother Cheryl said the pageant, which promotes scholastic achievement, involvement, and remembering to share your gifts and talents, has the girls participating in formal wear, personal interviews, introduction, and connecting with adults and peers. She added that the experience reminds her of a time of when the issues of respect and dressing appropriately, etc. were of much greater focus, and that the pageant works as a strengthening agent in the parent/child relationship.

"They just want a normal teenage girl without all the extra stuff," said Saculla of what the pageant is in search of, adding that in addition to making new friends, "You get positive feedback, and I just think it's really fun overall."

Asked what advice she would offer a newcomer, "It's great seeing the little girls and how they look up to you," she said, adding that she would tell them, "Just be yourselfdon't overthink it."

With a mere 20 seconds to address judges, offer up her name and hometown and catch their attention with something about her, Saculla said that while today they'll find her in the news, "Tomorrow I'll be bringing the news to you."



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