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Savannah Necker

Herald Staff Writer

One local pageant winner will be among 53 of the country’s most talented young women to compete in the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen competition.

Savannah Necker, 15, of DeWitt, 2011 Miss Clinton County’s Outstanding Teen and current Miss Iowa’s Outstanding Teen, will show off her skills and accomplishments at the national competition Aug. 14-18 in Orlando.

“I’m very excited,” Necker said. “I have some nerves, but I think that is pretty normal.”

The “little sister” competition to Miss America promotes scholastic achievement, creative accomplishment, healthy living and community involvement for America’s teens.

Contestants will be judged on personal interview, talent, evening wear, lifestyle and fitness in active wear, and on-stage question.

Necker is the recipient of the Presidential Academic award and was a state finalist at Invent Iowa. She will be performing a baton show twirl routine for the talent portion of the competition. It is a skill that she has been working to perfect since age 4, having preformed in the Disney World parade and receiving medals at the Junior Olympics. She also enjoys public speaking, which is crucial to her role.

“I love performing,” Necker said. “It’s fun to just do your thing. It comes natural.”

Since taking the Clinton County title, Necker has been busy educating others on the dangers of texting while driving as a platform issue to promote throughout her year of service.

This includes speaking at drivers’ education classes and schools, passing out wristbands and urging adults and teens to take the pledge against texting while driving.

She recently wrote a letter to state legislators asking for more support with her efforts.

As a former Lil’ Miss Clinton County in 2006, Necker has been waiting for an experience like this for many years.

“This is something I’ve dreamt about since I was a young girl,” Necker said.

Future plans for Necker include coming back as a senior to compete for the title of Miss Clinton County, with hopes of being crowned Miss Iowa and competing at the Miss America pageant.

After high school she plans to attend the University of Iowa to become an orthodontist and give proper dental care in impoverished countries.

There is a lot more to the competition than winning for Necker.

“I’m not going there just to win,” Necker said. “It’s all about the experience and all the people I’ll get to meet.”

Miss Clinton County Board members and family will be at the pageant offering her support, although one of her biggest supporters will be missing, her big sister Alexandria. As the 2011 Miss Clinton County and first runner-up for Miss Iowa, Alexandria was there for her sister the whole journey, but will be unable to go to Orlando since she is starting school next week at the University of Iowa.

“I think we will do our best to keep her informed,” Savannah said. “I hope to make it to Miss America someday, but this is pretty dang close.”