Leader photo/JOHN EBY First Runner-up Allison Zacharski, Apple Festival Queen Miranda Bailey, Second Runner-up Haley Akey and Miss Congeniality Trista Nyhuis.

Archived Story

Miranda Bailey moves up to Apple Queen

Published 5:35pm Sunday, September 16, 2012

The thirty-sixth annual Miss Apple Queen Miranda Bailey, who will reign over the 40th annual Apple Festival, was Junior Miss in 2010.

Miranda, 16, is a junior at Niles High School and the daughter of Robert and Marie Bailey. Her school activities include cheerleading and softball. She says she would like to be a physical therapist. She stands five feet tall, with brown hair and eyes.

“I have really tall heels on,” said Miranda, who wore a teal gown. “I’m speechless.”

Miranda is on the honor roll and has been honored as a student of the month.

Her court consists of Allison Zacharski, first runner-up, Haley Nicole Akey, second runner-up and who sold the most program ads, and Miss Congeniality Trista Nyhuis.

Allison, 16, is a junior at Brandywine High School and the daughter of Gerard Zacharski and Sharon Kelly. Allison participates in cross country, track, band, choir and musicals. She said she would like teach special education one day.

Haley, 16, is the daughter of Greg and Sherry Akey and a sophomore at Niles New Tech Academy. She plays varsity soccer, serves on student council and does volunteer work. Haley said she would like to be a veterinarian.

Trista, 18, attends Lake Michigan College and is the daughter of Thom and Jeani Nyhuis. She won art, cheerleading and citizenship awards in high school. Her described her dream career as becoming an art professor.

The People’s Choice was contestant one Monica Bielski, 19, a freshman at Southwestern Michigan College, who said she would like to appear in a movie with Rachel McAdams.

Crowning Miranda was the 2011 queen, Sarah Long of Buchanan, who double majors in psychology and pre-med at Grand Valley State University and plans to compete for the title of Miss Michigan.

Award recipients included Hardee’s Restaurant, Cass County Draft Horse Club, Ed Walsh, Roscoe the Clown, Subway and Erin Walter, who chaired the Apple Festival Pageant committee. No senior king and queen were selected.

Mistress of Ceremonies Sara Rice is a former television news reporter and producer, including for WSBT and Fox 28, until 2009, when she left for higher education.

She works at Ivy Tech. The 1999 Niles High School graduate earned her broadcasting degree from Western Michigan University. Rice won first runner-up in the 1998 Miss Apple Festival pageant.

Judging were David Carew of Buchanan, choral director at Southwestern Michigan College; Kristen Williams of Dowagiac, who works for Cass County Department of Human Services; and Lacy Payne, a Bridgman middle school teacher who chaired Miss Galien for six years.

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