UPDATED: AUG. 22 TO ADD OTHER UNCSA ALUMNAE TO HAVE COMPETED IN/WON MISS NORTH CAROLINA.
July 29, 2011 / FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
UNCSA STUDENT AND ALUMNA TO COMPETE
WINSTON-SALEM – The University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) will be well-represented at the 2012 Miss America pageant in January, with both a current college student and an alumna competing for the crown.
Hailey Best, who received her high school diploma from UNCSA in 2009, was crowned Miss North Carolina on June 25, and Michaela Lackey, a rising college senior studying contemporary dance, began her reign as Miss Georgia last month as well.
Best, 20, is the daughter of Michael and Kim Best of Goldsboro. Currently a vocal performance major at Meredith College, she competed as Miss Durham, performing an opera selection for the talent competition. Her platform, Live On Foundation, promotes extracurricular involvement among children from group and foster homes.
Lackey, 21, is the daughter of Doug and Sherri Lackey of Marietta, Ga. Competing as Miss Heart of Lakes, she performed a classical ballet selection for the talent competition. Her platform, Performing Artists Serving Society In Our Neighborhoods (PASSION), promotes the importance of arts in the schools, and also includes dance therapy.
Lackey is a former Miss Georgia Outstanding Teen, and is the first in Georgia history to win both titles. She won each title on her second try. Miss America’s Outstanding Teen is a national competition that encourages and rewards talent, communication skills, community service, and academic achievement of girls between 13 and 17 years of age.
In this year’s Miss North Carolina Pageant, Best was one of 24 contestants. She won the preliminary talent competition. Best had planned to continue her education as a junior this fall at UNCSA, but both Lackey and Best will take a year off from college studies to fulfill their state pageant obligations and to compete in the Miss America pageant. The 2012 Miss America Pageant will be held in Las Vegas.
Previously, UNCSA alumnae have won or competed in Miss North Carolina and Miss America. They include Kristin Elrod, Dana Stephenson Christopher, Kendria Perry Madden, Alecia Adams and Deneen Graham (1983 winner, Miss North Carolina).
The University of North Carolina School
of the Arts is the first
state-supported, residential school of
its kind in the nation. Established as
the North Carolina School of the Arts by
the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, UNCSA
opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of
Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became
part of the University of North Carolina
system in 1972. More than 1,100 students
from high school through graduate school
train for careers in the arts in five
professional schools: Dance, Design and
Production (including a Visual Arts
Program), Drama, Filmmaking, and Music.
UNCSA is the state’s only public arts
conservatory, dedicated entirely to the
professional training of talented
students in the performing, visual and
moving image arts. For more information,