DES MOINES — Make that two in a row for Dallas County.
There are 103 entrants each year in the Iowa State Fair Queen competition, and of those, six young ladies are chosen for honors. The queen and three runner-up positions are chosen, with recognition also given for “Miss Personality-Plus” and “Miss Outstanding Leadership.”
One year ago Emily Harney of Granger, who was then a DC-G senior, was chosen as first runner-up. Saturday, Dallas County continued a string of having their queen honored when Woodward-Granger senior Savannah David was tabbed “Miss Outstanding Leadership.”
“I was very surprised and, obviously, very happy,” David said of earning the honor, which was announced during the pageant. “You are sitting there with 102 other girls and who hope you win an award, but you never know because so many are deserving. When they called my name it was amazing — quite the experience.”
Harney and David became neighbors recently and it was at Harney’s urging that David entered the Dallas County Fair Queen contest.
“We are really good friends, and she gave me some great advice and really encouraged me,” David said. “Emily was a big support.”
The daughter of Don and Susanne David, Savannah is the oldest of six. Sister Sophie will be a sophomore and sister Chloe a freshman at W-G this year, with brothers Don and Andrew entering the seventh and first grades, respectively, while sister Felicity starts kindergarten.
David said her family, including aunts and uncles, were all at the fair and all equally as excited when her name was called.
Candidates began their pageant process Tuesday and continued through Saturday. First up was a five-minute interview with judges, with a group interview involving 10 other county fair queens later in the week followed by a one-minute rapid-fire short question/short answer interview.
Judges also looked at each queen’s resume, which is where David stood out from the pack.
She spent a week this summer at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md, in a “summer semester” course designed to showcase all that is entailed — and what it means — to be a student at the prestigious school.
“I loved it,” David said. “I have always wanted to serve my country after (high) school anyway, and this just confirmed it for me. I already have my application submitted and I really hope I am chosen.”
David works summers as a lifeguard at the Woodward pool and is an advanced Certified Nurses Aide working weekends at The Cedars in Madrid.
Somehow she finds time to serve as W-G Student Body President. She is ranked first in the Class of 2017, is a member of the National Honor Society and recently completed 140 hours of volunteer service, thereby earning a “silver cord” which will adorn her cap and gown at graduation in May.
As part of the judging at the state pageant, contestants must speak publicly twice. Once is an informative talk in which each queen speaks about herself and provides personal information while the other is devoted to each candidate’s platform.
For David that was Big Brothers/Big Sisters, with which she and her family have been involved for more than four years.
“I have another ‘little brother’ in Avi,” David said. “He has become like a member of the family, so I knew right away what my platform would be.”
Working with youth extended to cheerleading as well, as David — who is a Hawk football cheerleader — helped her mother start the youth cheer program a few years back.
With all of that on her schedule, David still manages to run track and this fall will be one of three seniors on the newly constituted W-G cross country team.
“Sometimes it does seems like I am going from one thing to the next but I like it that way,” David said. “There isn’t anything I am in involved in that I don’t like, so that just makes it all fun.”
“The entire experience of being Dallas County queen and then going to the state fair has just been amazing,” she concluded. “Being chosen among so many incredible girls for one of the honors is something I am so proud of. It is very humbling, but still very exciting. I couldn’t stop smiling.”
Along with the title of “Miss Outstanding Leadership” came a plaque, a bouquet of flowers, an $800 scholarship and a $250 gift card to Jordan Creek mall.
Amanda Riniker of Buchanan County (Winthrop) was named the 2016 State Fair Queen. Ashlyn Spence of Taylor County was first runner-up, Cassidy Moore of Greater Jones County was second runner-up and West Pottawatomie County’s Alyssa Bartz was third runner-up. Riley Ann Lonsadale of Adair County completed the list of honorees by earning the “Miss Personality-Plus” title.
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