Contestants vie for Miss Harlan County crown


Leanna Kathryn Asher


Jaid Chasteen


Erinly Morgan Cornett


Kaitlynn Paige Creech


Amber Casey Fee


Taylor Mycha Howard


Kaitlin Samantha Jenkins


Sidney Anne Kelly


Meredith Elaine Rowe


Brandi Simpson


The 2016 Miss Harlan County Scholarship Pageant will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Harlan County High School auditorium. Ten young ladies will represent Harlan County High School and Harlan Independent High School.

Entertainment during the pageant features two vocalists, Dannette Kelly Rowe and Brooklyn Collins, as well as three dance studios, Robyn’s Dance Academy, Heather Adams’ Academy of Dance and Harlan County Dance Extreme.

Dannette Kelly Rowe is a native of Harlan County and now lives in Aiken, South Carolina. She has performed at the pageant several times and is always a delight.

Brooklyn Collins is a freshman at Harlan County High School. She has performed at many festivals and sporting events.

Robyn’s Dance Academy, a dance studio that has been in Harlan for over 40 years, will feature dancers Makenna Jackson, Olivia Freeman and Campbell Nunez.

Heather Adams’ Academy of Dance, a local dance studio that is celebrating 10 years in Harlan, has an array of talent to thrill the audience.

And Harlan County Dance Extreme, Harlan’s newest dance studio owned by Katlyn Estep Williams, will be showcasing her dance students as well.

Pageant night will be a wonderful display of the talent that we have in Harlan County.

The Miss Harlan County Scholarship Pageant welcomes any donations to help fund the scholarships that will be given away. Checks can be made out to the Harlan County Chamber of Commerce and given to Flo Asher, Tera Day or Donell Busroe.

This year’s contestants include:

LEANNA KATHRYN ASHER

Leanna is representing Harlan Independent High School.

She is the 18-year-old daughter of Noah and Michelle Asher.

Leanna’s extracurricular activities and awards include being a member and president of the Harlan Musettes, a member and captain of the academic team and Beta Club where she has logged countless hours of community service. She is a Kentucky Ambassador of Music, a Kentucky Robinson Scholar and participated in KMEA All-State Choir. She was voted Most School Spirited and was the salutatorian of her senior class.

Her hobbies include singing, volunteering, traveling, exploring new places, hiking, DIY projects from Pinterest, watching her favorite movies, cheering on the Dragons, practicing yoga, texting her friends and loving life as much as she can.

Leanna’s future plans are to attend the University of Kentucky and major in elementary education. She then wants to come back to student teach at her alma mater. After student teaching, she plans to join Teach Across American Appalachia Core to help schools in rural areas like Harlan.

JAID CHASTEEN

Jaid is representing Harlan Independent High School.

She is the 18-year-old daughter of Kelly Bargo and Jeff Chasteen.

Jaid’s extracurricular activities and awards include History Club, FBLA, volleyball and she was voted Prettiest Eyes by her senior class.

Her hobbies include going to the gym, running, hiking, traveling, walking her dog, binge-watching Criminal Minds and spending time doing outdoor activities.

Jaid’s future plans are to attend Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Florida. Having a strong passion for saving endangered marine life, she plans to pursue a degree in marine science.

ERINLY MORGAN CORNETT

Erinly is representing Harlan County High School.

She is the 18-year old daughter of Pam and Jerry Cornett.

Erinly’s extracurricular activities and awards include being a member and president First Priority Leadership, dual-credit program, National Honor Society, Gifted Leadership, softball and Beta Club where she was vice-president. She had the highest class average in biology, represented her school as a Mountain Laurel attendant, is college- and career-ready, voted Most Dependable and was valedictorian of her senior class.

Her hobbies include doing hair and makeup, hunting, fishing, four-wheeling, church youth group and reading.

Erinly’s future plans are to attend Western Kentucky University to obtain a bachelor’s degree in exercise science. She then plans to attend graduate school for physical therapy at either Western Kentucky University or the University of Kentucky.

KAITLYNN PAIGE CREECH

Kaitlynn is representing Harlan County High School.

She is the 17-year-old daughter of Jennifer Bargo and Kermit Creech.

Kaitlynn’s extracurricular activities and awards include being a member of the Harlan County Dance Team, track team, National Honor Society, Beta Club, First Priority, yearbook staff and Pep Club where she was president. She was voted Most Spirited and was salutatorian of her senior class.

Her hobbies include hiking, kayaking, going on adventures, traveling and just being outdoors. However, she also likes to stay indoors to shop, do DIY projects, watch Netflix and volunteer at Pine Mountain Settlement School.

Kaitlynn’s future plans are to attend Eastern Kentucky University where she plans to pursue a four year nursing degree. After gaining two years’ work experience, she plans to go back to school to become a nurse anesthetist.

AMBER CASEY FEE

Amber is representing Harlan Independent High School.

She is the 18-year-old daughter of Donna and Willie Fee.

Amber’s extracurricular activities and awards include being a member of the Harlan Musettes, Beta Club, FBLA and journalism. She was the 2015 homecoming queen and represented her school in the 2015 Shriner’s Horse Show as a trophy marshal. She received the ACT scholar and academic awards and was voted Most Loveable by her senior class.

Her hobbies include painting, crafting, cooking, gardening, photography, attending church, volunteering, being outdoors, traveling, yoga and spending time with her family and pets.

Amber’s future plans include attending Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College to earn an associate’s degree in arts and science. She then plans to further her education by majoring in social work or radiology, in hopes that one day she will pursue a career in either counseling or radiation therapy.

TAYLOR MYCHA HOWARD

Taylor is representing Harlan County High School.

She is the 18-year-old daughter of Anthony and Stephanie Jenkins and Scott Howard.

Taylor’s extracurricular activities and awards include being a member of the Beta Club, National Honor Society, First Priority, Educational Talent Search, gymnastics and the Harlan County cheerleading team where she is district and regional champion. She was awarded the 2014 NCA Leadership Award, was the 2013 HOBY chosen representative and is college- and career-ready. She was the basketball homecoming queen, voted Miss Senior and was valedictorian of her senior class.

Her hobbies include gymnastics, dancing, looking on Pinterest, volunteering in her community, binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy and shopping.

Taylor’s future plans are to attend the University of Kentucky in the fall of 2016 majoring in elementary education. She then plans on furthering her education by earning her master’s degree in counseling. Her love for kids has inspired her to make a difference in as many kids’ lives as she possibly can.

KAITLIN SAMANTHA JENKINS

Kaitlin is representing Harlan Independent High School.

She is the 18-year-old daughter of Archie and Kathy Jenkins.

Kaitlin’s extracurricular activities include softball, band, color guard, Beta Club, where she was president, and Future Problem Solving, where her team placed sixth in the state. She was a Bank of Harlan Student of the Month, a Grissom Scholar at Centre College, a Berea Pinnacle Scholar, was voted Most Likely to Succeed by her senior class and raised $5,000 for pediatric cancer with Dance Blue.

Her hobbies include searching Pinterest for countless hours, organizing, working at Panda Garden, riding four-wheelers with her dad, reading, making sushi, traveling, hiking and babysitting.

Kaitlin’s future plans are to attend Centre College and major in chemistry. After completing undergraduate courses, she plans on attending medical school with hopes of one day becoming a pediatric clinical psychiatrist.

SIDNEY ANNE KELLY

Sidney is representing Harlan County High School.

She is the 17-year-old daughter of Tim and Mary Jo Kelly.

Sidney’s extracurricular activities and awards include being a member of First Priority, Beta Club, National Honor Society, softball, cross country team and dual-credit program. She was valedictorian of her senior class.

Her hobbies include fishing, tubing at the lake, shopping, spending time with her friends and family, watching Netflix and having bonfires.

Sidney’s future plans are to attend Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College to receive an associate’s degree and then transfer to Lincoln Memorial University to obtain a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education.

MEREDITH ELAINE ROWE

Meredith is representing Harlan County High School.

She is the 18-year-old daughter of Clark Rowe and Melissa Owens.

Meredith’s extracurricular activities and awards include being a member of First Priority, Beta Club, Educational Talent Search, National Honor Society and the Harlan County cheerleading squad. She is college- and career-ready, represented her school in this year’s Mountain Laurel Festival as the princess candidate and was voted Most Attractive by her senior class.

Her hobbies include spending time with family and hanging out with friends, walking her dog, watching old movies, enjoying summer nights, fishing and road trips.

Meredith’s future plans are to attend Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College and receive her Associate of Science and then transfer to Lincoln Memorial University to earn her doctorate in veterinarian medicine.

BRANDI SIMPSON

Brandi is representing Harlan County High School.

She is the 18-year-old daughter of Kim and Kevin Simpson.

Brandi’s extracurricular activities and awards include being a member of the Beta Club, First Priority Leadership, Harlan County softball team and is college- and career-ready.

Her hobbies include binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy, participating in her church and youth group activities, helping out at Shekinah Village, going to the lake and spending time with friends and family.

Brandi’s future plans are to attend Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College to obtain her associate’s degree in science and then transfer to the University of Tennessee to major in forensics.

Leanna Kathryn Asher
http://harlandaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_Leanna-Kathryn-Asher.jpgLeanna Kathryn Asher

Jaid Chasteen
http://harlandaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_Jaid-Chasteen.jpgJaid Chasteen

Erinly Morgan Cornett
http://harlandaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_Erinly-Morgan-Cornett.jpgErinly Morgan Cornett

Kaitlynn Paige Creech
http://harlandaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_Kaitlynn-Paige-Creech.jpgKaitlynn Paige Creech

Amber Casey Fee
http://harlandaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_Amber-Casey-Fee.jpgAmber Casey Fee

Taylor Mycha Howard
http://harlandaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_Taylor-Mycha-Howard.jpgTaylor Mycha Howard

Kaitlin Samantha Jenkins
http://harlandaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_Kaitlin-Samantha-Jenkins.jpgKaitlin Samantha Jenkins

Sidney Anne Kelly
http://harlandaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_Sidney-Anne-Kelly.jpgSidney Anne Kelly

Meredith Elaine Rowe
http://harlandaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_Meredith-Elaine-Rowe.jpgMeredith Elaine Rowe

Brandi Simpson
http://harlandaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_Brandi-Simpson.jpgBrandi Simpson

http://harlandaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_Pageant.jpg
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