Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

July 15, 2013

A queen's tiara for poised Milan High School grad

Debbie Blank The Herald-Tribune
The Batesville Herald-Tribune

---- — OSGOOD – Just after Katelyn Huffman heard her name announced as Miss Ripley County 2013 and posed for a flurry of onstage photos with her court July 14 at the Damm Theater, she admitted, "I'm speechless. I wasn't expecting this at all. I was just having fun."

Earlier in the contest, the daughter of Scott and Renee Huffman, Milan, described herself as "outgoing, talkative and helpful." The frank National Honor Society member said afterwards, "I'm a farm kid and I'm proud of that. That's what I am."

Ripley County 4-H Fair Queen Pageant coordinator Becky Harmeyer, Batesville, said the evening's outcome "wasn't a surprise to me," calling the competition between 14 candidates "very close."

The Milan High School graduate, who will head to Indiana State University to study business and Spanish right after the Indiana State Fair pageant at Pepsi Coliseum, Indianapolis, Aug. 18, was asked the onstage pop question “Do you think that television and movies display too much violence? If so, do you feel violence can influence a student’s behavior?" The blue-eyed teen agreed, "I do feel violence can influence a student’s behavior. Students look up to these actors, singers and athletes and when they see them doing these things, they think it’s cool to do them, too."

The 10-year Pierceville Haypals 4-H Club member, who has served as club president for four years, has two favorite projects, public speaking and foods. "I like to do a lot of baking," especially with her grandmother.

The golfer and former Student Council member reports, "I've already had an eventful summer." The Hope Baptist Church member attended the FFA state convention and has been an office worker at Proximo Distillers, Lawrenceburg.

In addition to the contestants named to the court (please see photo), four other honors were handed out: People’s Choice (attendees voted with dollars, netting $708 for local food pantries), Brenna Sarringhaus; best Hawaiian opening attire and best professional wear, Brooke Hartman; and best formal wear, Katelyn Huffman.

Huffman and the runners-up, who will volunteer at the fair all week, probably will take the words of Miss Ripley County 2012 to heart. "Wear your invisible crown," Michaela Grunkemeyer, Batesville, urged in her farewell speech. "Always present yourself as a queen."

Debbie Blank can be contacted at debbie.blank@batesvilleheraldtribune.com or 812-934-4343, Ext. 113.