Just a quick “hello!” here, and a welcome to HerrinFesta 2007 from Carla Hays, who is going to roam around and report on some of this year’s festivities. I was able to catch up to this year’s Miss HerrinFesta, Tyra Zoeller. She was destined to win the pageant this year. Monday, May 21, 2007, was Tyra’s 21st birthday, and her third time as an entrant in the Miss HerrinFesta Contest. Her longtime boyfriend Trebor Hill first convinced her to run for the title in 2005, when she was crowned 2nd runner up. Last year she was 1st runner up, and the rest is history! If not for Trebor’s encouragement, she would never have had the courage to enter this pageant, and several others. Her previous titles are Miss Williamson County 2005, and Pinckneyville Mardi Gras Queen 2005. Our thanks to him for allowing us the privilege of getting to know this special young lady.
Tyra and I discussed what her future plans are after her HerrinFesta duties are over this coming week:
C.H.: You have entered and won several pageants, winning scholarship money each time. How are you using this money?
T.Z.: “I’ve attended John A. Logan College, and this coming fall I will be entering S.I.U. in Carbondale to major in elementary education.”
C.H.: “What made you decide that teaching was where your heart is?”
T.Z.: “I started out in the nursing program at Logan, and though I liked it, it made me so sad when I got attached to patients at the V.A. Hospital. I would come home and think about them, and I soon saw that it was taking too much out of me, and I needed to do something that would allow me to see the difference I was making, and know that my work was resulting in positive influences on lives.”
“Last summer I worked with some children, preparing them for kindergarten, and when they started school, I heard from them that they were doing so well, and knew a lot already when they got there. That was so gratifying, and I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”
Well, Tyra, you’re on your way to a successful future. Your experiences in the pageant arena will serve you well as you attend college, and prepare for your teaching career. We all wish you the best, and a hearty “I miei complimenti!” (That’s Italian for “congratulations!”)