Archived Story

10 seek Miss Niles crown

Published 2:27pm Thursday, November 8, 2012

Ten girls are vying for the honor of being crowned Miss Niles during the Miss Niles Scholarship Pageant Nov. 18 at Niles High School.

The pageant is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.

New this year, the Little Miss Niles Pageant is scheduled to take place at 2 p.m. at Niles High School.

Below are the contestants for Miss Niles:

• Monica Bielski

Monica is a 19-year-old freshman at Southwestern Michigan College, where she majors in fine arts. Monica plans on continuing her education at


Kendall College of Art and Design to earn her bachelor’s degree in fine arts. She is the daughter of Matthew and Angela Bielski. Monica has been involved in band and choir, volunteering with her church, school musicals, taking mission trips to Texas and counseling for an all-girls’ camp. Some of her honors include an academic and fine arts scholarship, first place in art show for painting, honor roll and marching band leadership award. During her free time, Abigail enjoys painting, drawing, graphic design and photography.

• Kayla Flenar

Kayla is an 18-year-old freshman at Southwestern Michigan College, where she majors in elementary education.


Kayla is the daughter of James and Kelly Flenar. Kayla has been involved in cheerleading, coaching middle school cheerleaders, volunteering in her mom’s kindergarten classroom and Howard Township Fire Department and serving at her church. Some of Kayla’s honors include graduating high school in the top 25 percent of her class, receiving President’s Outstanding Academic Excellence Awards, honor roll and being second runner-up at the Miss Apple Festival 2011. Kayla enjoys cheerleading, shopping, modeling and spending time with her dogs.

• Jessica Lafler

Jessica is a 17-year-old senior at Niles High School.  Jessica plans on attending the


University of Michigan to become a dermatologist. She is the daughter of Robert and Jennifer Lafler. Jessica is involved in National Honor Society, volunteering at a Niles hospital and Annual Letter Carriers’ Food Drive, tutoring math, donating blood and is the secretary/treasurer for Berrien County Math and Science Center Class of 2013. Some of Jessica’s achievements include placing second and third at Regional Science Olympiad, having her artwork displayed at Whirpool and Niles Township Library and being admitted into Berrien County Math and Science Center. Jessica loves to read and crochet. She also likes anything to do with crafts and drawing.

• Gabrielle Lowery

Gabrielle is a 17-year-old senior at Niles High School. Gabrielle plans on attending Western Michigan University to


pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing. She is the daughter of Brian and Renee Schmuhl and Jeffrey Lowery. Gabrielle is a member of Niles High School Key Club, volunteers at Silver Brook Nursing Home and is a member of the American Red Cross Relay for Life. Gabrielle has had a poem published in the Teachers’ Selection Anthology of Poetry and has earned a varsity letter in track and field. Gabrielle’s hobbies include playing basketball, reading for enjoyment and spending time with family and friends.

• Gladys Magana

Gladys is a 17-year-old senior at Niles High School. Gladys plans on attending either


Ferris State or Eastern University to earn a bachelor’s of science in nursing. She is the daughter of Araceli and Raul Magana. Gladys is involved in Niles soccer, teaching Sunday school and volunteering at a nursing home through her health occupation class.  Gladys is fluent in Spanish, has been certified in CPR and played junior varsity soccer for Niles High. Gladys enjoys running in her free time, especially downtown and playing and watching soccer games.

• Alyssa Putnam

Alyssa is a 17-year-old senior at Michigan Lutheran High School. Alyssa plans on attending Kendall College upon graduation. She is the daughter


of Jeffery and Christine Putnam. Alyssa is her student council president, class president, cheerleading captain, colorguard captain and is also involved in drama and auditions choir. Some of Alyssa’s accomplishments include honor roll, Winter Festival Princess, Four NRA Action Pistol National Records, honorable mention on art at the Box Factory and reserve champion cake decorating. Alyssa’s interests include dance, which she studied for nine years, playing the piano, singing in an audition choir and writing short stories.

• Allie Schoenleber

Allie is a 17-year-old senior at Niles High School. Allie plans on attending Western Michigan University to pursue a


career in professional elementary education and human services. She is the daughter of Brent and Trisha Schoenleber. Emily is involved in Key Club, Students Against Destructive Decisions, The N Club, Meals on Wheels and Relay for Life. Some of her accomplishments include varsity cheerleading, maintaining a G.P.A. of 3.25 or higher, Presidential Education Award, captain of varsity cheer team and medals in track and field. Allie enjoys singing and dancing, acting, being on stage and entertaining others and spending time with family and friends.

• Victoria Sowers

Emily is a 17-year-old senior at Niles High School. Victoria plans to attend a four-year


university to study pre-med. She is the daughter of Sandy and Shane Sowers.  Victoria has been involved in varsity soccer since she was a freshman, varsity cheerleading and P.S.I. Some of Victoria’s accomplishments include being a scholar athlete, academic all state in soccer, honor roll and earning a varsity letter in her freshman year.

• Sasha Zidar

Sasha is a 17-year-old senior at Niles High School.  Sasha is exploring different colleges and looking into programs in


the medical field. She is the daughter of Scott Zidar and Christina King. Sasha is involved in fundraising for JDRF, student council, donating blood, participating in Toys for Tots and adopting a family for Christmas. Some of her accomplishments include a JDRF Bronze Award, varsity letters in two sports, soccer tournament medal, cross country top-10 runner medal winner and being voted “most spirited” by her peers. Sasha enjoys playing guitar, writing songs, cooking, running in her free time and being involved with friends and family.

• Abby Mattson

Abby is a 17-year-old senior at Niles High School. Abby plans on attending Michigan


State University for communicative sciences and disorders. She is the daughter of Marvin and Angela Mattson. Abby is involved in student council, National Honor Society, Ring Lardner Summer School Volunteer, Womens Varsity Golf and Tennis and Adopt-A-Family/Adopt-A-Highway. Some of Abby’s accomplishments include Homecoming Queen 2012, scholar athlete, vice president of National Honor Society and student council, co-captain of varsity golf and Presidential Awards. Abby enjoys shopping, playing sports, organizing, babysitting, web design and volunteering.

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