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Lincoln Co. native Tadlock crowned Miss Mississippi

New Miss Mississippi Anna Tadlock lived in Brookhaven until shewas 12 years old, and the city still considers her their own -especially after her big win at the Vicksburg Convention CenterSaturday night.

“It feels pretty amazing,” Tadlock said in a televisioninterview following her crowning. “I’m so honored and soblessed.”

Tadlock, who graduated from Northwest Rankin High School in2004, is the daughter of Felicia and Tommy Tadlock of Brandon. Sheis the granddaughter of Brookhaven’s Travis Tadlock and the lateMelba Tadlock.

Tadlock competed as Miss New South in what pageant officialssaid was one of the most competitive Miss Mississippi Pageants inyears.

She won the swimwear and talent competition preliminaries overthe pageant’s first three nights. The early round wins set her upfor a solid victory on Saturday.

The 23-year-old vocalist said she hopes to use music as apositive influence on children’s education. She performed A NewLife from the Broadway musical Jekyll & Hyde as her talentduring the pageant.

“Having been involved with music most of my life, I am convincedthat music education has drastic positive impacts on youngchildren,” she said in her contestant fact sheet. “They also havemore self-confidence and are more likely to be involved inextracurricular activities within their community.”

More than her beauty and talent, Tadlock’s persistence is whatfinally put her over the edge to victory at the pageant this year.Tadlock said she competed in 11 local preliminaries before she gotto her first Miss Mississippi Pageant, and four tries at the bigshow before she came out with the crown.

The Mississippi State University graduate made it to the Top 10at Miss Mississippi three tries in a row, but the third time wasthe charm.

Tadlock will now represent the state at the Miss America pageanton Jan. 20 in Las Vegas. She said she is excited to be a part ofsomething that can positively impact people across the country.

“The partnership between the Miss America Organization and theChildren’s Miracle Network can have multiple impacts on manydifferent levels,” she said. “Firstly and most importantly, itprovides an opportunity for young women in the circuit to pursuescholarships for their education as well as engage in communityservice.”

And Tadlock said her next year will be filled with increasingpeople’s awareness of what music has to offer to children of allages.

“… I would like to travel and speak to parents and teachers ofkindergarten to elementary age children about my platform and whatbenefits music education offers,” she wrote. “I also plan tocontinue volunteering and increase awareness in schools and otherrelated organizations so that children might have bettereducational opportunities while strengthening theircommunities.”

While at Northwest Rankin, Tadlock won the Junior Misscompetition. That, she said, was what awakened her interest inpageant life.

She graduated from MSU in 2008 with a communications and publicrelations degree. She was most recently employed as a recruitingdirector for the Spinks Group of Northwestern Mutual FinancialNetwork. She said she aims to earn a master’s degree in teachingand become an English teacher.

The first runner-up was Miss Heartland Danielle Smith, ofMeridian, and the second runner-up was Miss Deep South RachaelShannon, of Byram. Miss Southern Magnolia Kristen Benigno, ofLaurel, and Miss Hattiesburg Mary Brandon Norman, of Sumrall,rounded out the top five.