New Miss Delaware: Top contestants linked by Magnolia school

Miss Delaware 2018 Joanna Wicks is crowned by Miss Delaware 2017 Chelsea Bruce. Miss Delaware Organization held its 75th Scholarship Pageant on Saturday at Cape Henlopen High School theater near Lewes with 13 competitors. Ms. Wicks is am art teacher with St. Thomas More Academy in Magnolia. (Special to the Delaware State News / Church Snyder)

LEWES — St. Thomas More Academy certainly has the market cornered on upper echelon Miss Delaware candidates.

Late Saturday night, the Magnolia-based school’s teachers Joanna Wicks and Rebecca Gasperetti finished No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, among the talented field vying to represent the First State at the upcoming Miss America competition in September.

Crowned winner Miss Wicks, 24, said students helped the co-workers prepare for the pageant with practice interview questions and were quite aware about what their teachers were striving for during the competition held at Cape Henlopen High.

“My students were very excited about it and were involved in helping us prepare for it,” said Miss Wicks, a University of Delaware graduate who was a first-time Miss Delaware contestant entered as Miss Wilmington.

All 13 contestants on stage for the announcement of the winners . (Special to the Delaware State News Chuck Snyder)

“I’m trying to recruit some of them to get involved in the Miss America program in some way (because of all the positive personal benefits it brings.) I’ve also got to thank my principal, teachers and administrators for all the support they provided throughout the process of preparing for this.”

Miss Wicks finished second for the Carol Maclary Excellence in Education award and the overall Lifestyle & Fitness award. The overall victory was worth over $10,000 in scholarships, along with gifts and services from several sponsors throughout Delaware.

Running on a platform of domestic violence prevention and awareness, Miss Wicks said she looks forward to representing the First State with her message.

One year after finishing second, 16-year-old Sky Knox was named Miss Delaware’s Outstanding Teen 2018. The rising junior at Tatnall School in Wilmington competed as Miss Newark.

The new Miss Delaware and her court. (Special to the Delaware State News Chuck Snyder)

Miss Knox also captured the overall interview award and overall talent award, as well as People’s Choice award. The victory came with over $2,000 in scholarships, along with services and gifts from a variety of sponsors statewide.

Miss Knox said she took lessons learned from last year’s No. 2 finish applied it while preparing for this year.

“It was so exciting and so humbling at the same time,” Miss Knox said of her victory.

Breast cancer awareness was the platform Miss Knox took, and she encouraged teens to make healthy lifestyle choices in diet and exercise to lessen chances of future problems.

Miss Gasperetti competed as Miss Hockessin, winning the top talent award and also the Carol Maclary Excellence in Education top award, The Debi Wilson Community Service Award, and the Miss America State Community Service Award. Miss Greenville Riley Slate won Miss Congeniality honors.

Miss Blue Gold Emily Beale was second runner-up, followed by Miss Slate and Miss Newark Haberstroh.

The Miss America’s Outstanding Teen competition comes in late July in Orlando, Florida.

Miss Diamond State Jenna Anger was first runnerup in the teen competition, followed by Miss New Castle County Jacqueline Means, Miss Blue Diamond Emily Jer-Don and Miss Hockessin Taylor Richardson.

Returning to crown the champion was Miss Delaware’s Outstanding Teen 2017 Nicole Hannah and Outstanding Teen 2008 and Miss Delaware 2016 Amanda Debus.

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