BY MICHAEL REISIG –
Kate Self is one of those rare ladies who is not only attractive, but carries a natural, open quality about her – she’s a real person – and today that’s fairly rare.
Self was born in Mena, and her father works at U.S. Motors. Her mother teaches at Holly Harshman Elementary. Self attended Hatfield schools for her first few years of education. When the Hatfield schools consolidation took place, her mother got a job in the Mena School System and the family moved to Mena.
“I actually went to Holly Harshman at first, then on to Mena High School, graduating last summer,” she explained. “In the process I found I loved sports, particularly softball. I played all three years in high school and received “All District my eleventh grade year and All State in my senior year as the catcher for our team.”
Self also received “Female Student Athlete of the Year” at Mena High School.
“I was incredibly honored to receive such prestigious awards – that the teachers and coaches thought enough of me to do that,” she recalled.
But in the interim she has also been a part of the Miss Polk County Pageant for the last couple of years. Last year she was second runner up, and this year, in a ceremony on Saturday Sept. 28, she was declared “Miss Polk County.”
“My mom had been pageant director for the Hatfield “Miss Bobcat” pageant for many years, and I had participated in that, and other pageants, so I was involved in the pageant industry a little bit while growing up. With this recent award of Miss Polk County, I was incredibly pleased, but it had been such a fun experience from the beginning, regardless of the win.
“I think that pageants are a good thing,” she continued. “They allow girls to meet people they wouldn’t normally have a chance to,” She smiled. “And on a basic level, you get to dress up, and feel pretty, and every girl loves that. On pageant day you have a two-minute interview, and that night they have an introduction, and everyone – both Miss and Little Miss contestants are brought out on the stage. Then there’s a change to casual wear, and from there, to evening gowns. Finally there is the ‘on-stage questions,’ which I’ll admit is a little nerve-wracking.
“All in all, it’s just a great experience,” Self added. “And the reward for winning is a scholarship from Rich Mountain Community College. “ I have already started attending RMCC and will attend through Spring. I plan to become a teacher, like my mother – in Family and Consumer Sciences – which is basically Home Economics. That was always my favorite class in high school, and some of my favorite teachers were Home Economics instructors.”
Self says she’s not sure what school she will attend yet – a lot depends on if she wins the Arkansas State Fair Queen title on Oct. 15. That scholarship award would allow her some latitude of choice.
“I would like to thank my parents, friends, and family for supporting me, and to thank the other contestants, and the Lady Ouachitas, for making the Miss Polk County event such a great pageant,” she added.