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Bryan claims Junior Miss title
Decatur High School senior performed ‘Over the Rainbow’

By Andrea Brunty · 340-2448

Anna Laura Bryan discovered she possessed heart, courage and brains as she found a home as Morgan County Junior Miss 2008.

Bryan won the title Saturday in competition at Decatur High School. She is the daughter of Norwood and Kathy Bryan. The Decatur High School senior sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” for her talent, which fit with the theme of the night, “Defying Gravity,” taken from the Broadway musical “Wicked.”

“I can’t even express what I’m feeling. I wasn’t expecting this,” she said. “I’m so honored and so blessed, and I hope I can honor and serve Morgan County proudly.”

The aspiring interior designer received a $3,600 cash scholarship and a $5,000 tuition scholarship to The University of Alabama in Huntsville, if she chooses to enroll.

She said her current plan is to attend Auburn University or Samford University. Bryan also won a $500 self-expression award and received $100 for winning the Be Your Best Self essay competition.

She advances to the Alabama Junior Miss competition in Montgomery in January.

Bryan was part of a three-way tie with Rudi Acklin of Austin High School and Rachel Walker of Hartselle High School for the $1,000 Spirit of Junior Miss award.

Acklin is the daughter of Rudolph and Ceola Acklin, and Walker’s parents are Alan and Jane Walker.

First runner-up

Crystal Deuel was first runner-up, winning a $2,000 cash scholarship. The Austin High senior was a triple winner. She won a $500 scholarship in the talent division for her contemporary dance to “The Lioness Hunt” from the Broadway musical “The Lion King.”

She also earned a $500 scholarship for the fitness award. Her parents are David and Julie Deuel.

Andrea Crayton, daughter of Darius and Alesia Crayton, was second runner-up and winner of a $1,000 cash scholarship. She attends Austin High.

Laci Southerland of Hartselle High won the $500 scholastic award. She is the daughter of Tim and Tina Southerland.

Other participants were Laura Elizabeth Dewberry, Judith Roberts, Emily Roden, Elizabeth Wesson, Jada Whitaker, Anna Katharine Yeager, all of Hartselle High; Meagan Warner, who won the sales award, Hillary Miller, Christa Scheler, Anna Kacey Walraven, Caroline Woller, all of Decatur High; and Megan C. Ross and Cumberlan Danielle Turner, both of Austin High.

Previous winner

Morgan County and Alabama Junior Miss 2007 Mary Catherine McAnnally, who graduated from Decatur High and is freshman at Birmingham-Southern College, greeted her successor. McAnnally received $26,000 in cash scholarships plus a four-year scholarship to Birmingham-Southern while participating in the county, state and national Junior Miss programs.

McAnnally performed selections from and inspired by “The Wizard of Oz” throughout the program.

Morgan County’s 1999 Junior Miss Ellen Vaughan was mistress of ceremonies.

The scholarship program is part of America’s Junior Miss, established in Mobile in 1958. It recognizes outstanding college-bound senior girls.

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