NIAGARA, Wis. - A new Miss Niagara will be chosen when voters go to the polls on Tuesday, April 1. Niagara High School students, along with city and town of Niagara voters, will choose from among three juniors and two sophomores who were recently selected by high school students as the finalists for 2014.
Originated and sponsored by the Niagara Lions Club since 1968, the new Miss Niagara will have her coronation at the Niagara Centennial on Saturday, June 28, when she will be presented with a crown and sash from Madisin DePas, the current Miss Niagara.
Candidates for this year include:
Myah Anderson, 16, is a sophomore and the youngest of three children of Lisa and Mark Anderson. She has two brothers in college in Jacob (20) and Colin (18).
Myah is an outstanding student who has earned academic recognition every marking period. She also is recognized by her classmates for her leadership qualities as she currently serves as president of her class. While she enjoys all of her classes, her favorite this year is English.
Beyond the classroom, Myah is involved in several extracurricular activities including forensics where she earned a silver medal at last spring's state forensic tournament. Myah is a good athlete who competes in both volleyball and basketball and will go out for track this spring. In addition to serving as class president, Myah also is a two-year member of the student council and participates in one-act play, yearbook, and is a member of the Hi-Q teams.
When asked if she has a mentor or special role model, Myah without hesitation gave credit to her mother. "My mom is definitely my role model. She has taught me to work hard if I want something and to take what life gives me. My mom has also taught me to appreciate the things I have and to give back to others. "I'm so blessed to have someone like her to look up to and learn from every day."
Myah attends Bethany Lutheran Church in Norway where she has volunteered to assist with Vacation Bible School. She also has part-time employment at Pleasant View Orchard and Uptown Lanes. Myah's free time interests include hunting with her father, reading, playing sports, and spending time with friends and family.
After high school Myah would like to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison but is undecided as to what she will study at this time.
Shanna Nordell, 17, is a junior and the daughter of Jody and John Nordell. She has two brothers Bob (27) and Dustin (20).
Shanna is a very good student whose name consistently appears on the honor roll. Her favorite classes this year include Advanced Biology, American History, and Current Issues.
While she excels in many areas, Shanna particularly shines in athletics and has earned varsity letters in volleyball, basketball, and track. She has earned all-conference honorable mention in volleyball and has also been awarded the Coach's Award in track. She has been active in student government serving as a member of the student council and has also served as president of both the sophomore and Junior Class. This summer Shanna will represent her school at Badger Girls State. She also is a state medalist in forensics and is active with the QPR Suicide Prevention program.
Shanna gives credit to her whole family for serving as her role models. "They have had my back," Shanna wrote, "through everything. No matter what happens I know they will be there for me. They inspire me to be a better person."
Shanna goes to St. Anthony Catholic Church where she attends a CCD class. She volunteers in the community doing service work including having volunteered the past four years at Women's Wellness Days. She also has volunteered at the hospital delivering meals at Thanksgiving and Christmas in addition to having participated in the New York youth mission volunteer trip.
In her free time, Shanna enjoys four-wheeling, reading, and spending time with friends. She also works part-time at Appliance & Furniture Mart in Iron Mountain.
Her post-high school plans include attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to prepare for a career in a medical field.
Shelby Borchardt, 16, is a junior and is the oldest of four children of Christie and Mark Borchardt. Her siblings include Daniel (15), Faith (10), and Morgan (8).
Shelby is gifted student whose name can always be found on the High Honor Roll. She excels in all areas academically, is a gifted athlete, and as well as a talented artist. She has won three awards at the annual Association of Student Artists art show, twice has been recognized as the school's Artist of the Month, and she also won an award at last summer's Art for All in Iron Mountain. Shelby also has been chosen as a Badger Girls State alternate. While she distinguishes herself in all areas of the curriculum, Shelby lists her favorite classes this year as art, accounting, and physical education.
Shelby excels in athletics and has earned three varsity letters in volleyball, two in track, and one in basketball. She has particularly distinguished herself in volleyball where she has twice earned First Team all-conference recognition as well as being selected by opposing coaches as the M&O Conference Defensive Player of the Year for the past two seasons. Her other curricular areas of involvement include student council, forensics, school yearbook, and with the HI-Q academic team.
When Shelby was asked if she had any person she considered as her mentor, hero, or role model, Shelby gave credit to several.
"I am lucky," Shelby wrote, "to have many people in my life that I look up to. My role models range from my parents to grand-parents, to coaches and my teachers. They all influence me and I look up to all of them."
Shelby attends the Aurora Free Church. She also has compiled a positive record of community service through her volunteerism with the school's Youth Futures student organization where she has helped at the Niagara Lions Picnic, the fall harvest festival, and also at area Women's Wellness programs. Shelby works part-time during the summer at the Florence Ice Cream Shoppe and in her spare time she enjoys drawing, participating in SAY soccer, and hanging out with friends and family.
Shelby's post-high school plans are to attend college but she is undecided at this time about what she will study.
Alyssa Plemel, 16, is a sophomore and is the daughter of Heather and Art Plemel. She has a sister, Pamela (27).
Alyssa takes her studies seriously and is a very hard worker in the classroom. While she enjoys most subjects, her favorite classes this year are Algebra II and physical education. She has a strong work ethic which has resulted in her always being on the honor roll.
A member of the student council, Alyssa participates in basketball and loves to play soccer where she has competed with SAY Soccer, Northern Twisters Soccer, and with Northern Fusion Soccer.
When Alyssa was asked if she had any person she considered as her mentor, hero, or role model, Alyssa named her late grandfather, Ed Plame, as her hero and role model.
"He showed me," Alyssa responded, "that hard work will get me where I want to go. He also showed me that you can be a very strong person and show love and compassion at the same time. He will always be with me while I make my life decisions."
In her time away from school, Alyssa has compiled an enviable record of community service. She has rung bells for the Salvation Army and has assisted with the Northern Star Industries' children's Christmas event. She assists with her class fundraising activities and also helps with food drives and other programs to help the needy. She also is looking forward to participating in the school youth mission trip this coming summer to Chicago.
Alyssa's leisure time activities included swimming, four-wheeling, shopping, reading, listening to music, and spending time with family and friends. She also babysits and works part-time at Uptown Lanes & Lounge.
Alyssa's future plans are to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison and study to become an orthodontist.
Ksandra Urbanek, 16, is a junior and is the youngest of six children of Donna Urbanek. She has five brothers including William, Ronnie, Jacob, Billy, and Rusty.
Ksandra enjoys school and her favorite classes this year are history and English.
She competes in the school's new softball program and last spring Ksandra was awarded a varsity letter in the sport.
When Ksandra was asked if she had any person she considered as her mentor, hero, or role model, she gave credit to her mother, Donna. "She always helps me," related Ksandra, "with anything I need. She has been through everything in my life and I can always count on her. I can honestly say she is the greatest inspiration in my life."
While softball is her favorite activity, Ksandra also enjoys leisure time activities including hunting, fishing, and swimming. Spending time with family and friends is also very important to her.
Ksandra's post-high school plans are to attend college and study to become a registered nurse.