2016 Scholarship Notification


Miss Arkansas
Miss Arkansas' Outstanding Teen

Sunday June 11, 2017 - Arrival
Prelims - June 13, 14, 15
Outstanding Teen FINALS - Friday June 16
Miss FINALS - Saturday June 17


 April 19, 2017 Little Rock, AR
At a press conference held earlier today, KATV Channel 7, along with the Miss Arkansas Pageant Board, announced that the 2017 Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant will be broadcast live on KATV Saturday June 17 at 7:00 p.m. This will mark the first time the pageant has been televised in the event’s 80-year history. Channel 7 Daybreak anchor Chris Kane and Miss Arkansas 2009 Sarah Slocum Collins will serve as pageant emcees for the three-hour live broadcast. The live show will include popular pageant segments such as the talent showcase, swimsuit, evening wear, and contestant interviews, and will culminate in the live crowning of the new Miss Arkansas 2017.
 “The timing is perfect,” said KATV General Manager Mark Rose. “Not only is the pageant returning to the iconic and newly renovated Robinson Performance Hall for the pageant’s 80th anniversary, but thanks to the success of the reigning Miss America Savvy Shields, interest in the pageant is at an all-time high. Now, to top it all off, viewers across the state can experience the excitement of the pageant, live from the comfort of their homes, on Arkansas’ most iconic TV station – KATV.”
 With help from The Pryor Center for Oral and Visual History, the broadcast will also include archival video and film from the vast KATV vault, celebrating the Miss Arkansas Pageant’s 80-year history of providing exceptional opportunities for scholarship, growth and impactful empowerment of women. “We are thankful to have partners in KATV Channel 7 who share our vision for celebrating the history of the Miss Arkansas Pageant, and the opportunity to highlight the young women representing local programs from across our state through televising our final competition night live,” commented Jessie Ward Bennett, who serves at the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant’s Executive Director. “We are planning for an exceptional show, and are thrilled to continue to work with our long-time supporter in KATV Channel 7, but in an all-new and exciting way.”
 “It will be such a special treat for everyone involved, including the Miss Arkansas organization, the contestants, myself and of course, the fans,” added reigning Miss Arkansas 2016 Savannah Skidmore. “I can’t wait for viewers across the state to be able to see how much work has been put into our pageant this year, and just how impressive and talented the 44 girls vying for my crown are!”
 In addition to the live broadcast, 2017 will mark the return of the Miss Arkansas pageant to the capitol city, where it will be hosted by the newly renovated Robinson Performance Hall in downtown Little Rock. “We look forward to showcasing Little Rock to contestants, and their families and friends, and to building a long-lasting relationship with pageant representatives,” said Gretchen Hall, Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau President and CEO.

 Preliminary competition will run June 13-15, with the crowning of Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen 2017 on Friday June 16th. The live broadcast and final competition will be Saturday, June 17th beginning at 7:00pm on KATV, and streaming live on KATV.com and the KATV Facebook page.
 Tickets for the 80th Anniversary of the Miss Arkansas Pageant are now on sale through the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant Business office at (501) 321-3506, and beginning May 1 via Ticketmaster.
 For more information, contact:
 · Nick Genty, KATV News Director: njgenty@sbgtv.com, 501-324-7807
 · Jessie Ward Bennett, Executive Director Miss Arkansas Pageant, jessiewardbennet@me.com, 501-837-7460

Tickets for the 80th Anniversary of the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant are on sale now! Patron Tickets are currently on sale through the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant Business Office. After May 1, tickets to see Miss Arkansas 2017 crowned will be available via TicketMaster.

Preliminary competition will run June 13-15 with the crowning of Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen 2017 on Friday, June 16th. The crowning of Miss Arkansas 2017 will be Saturday, June 17th. All competition takes place at Robinson Auditorium and begins each night at 7:00 p.m.

You can purchase Miss Arkansas Patron Tickets now by calling 501-321-3506 or visit missarkansas.org for more information. Patron memberships include two premium tickets to each preliminary night of competition and the crowning of both Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen on Friday and Miss Arkansas on Saturday. Patrons will be included in the program book and receive 2 VIP Badges for the post-show visitation as well.

Robinson Auditorium also has grand tier and upper tier box seats available for the Miss Arkansas 2017 Pageant. For $2500 you will receive four box seats plus many additional amenities. Included in the purchase price is tickets for all five nights of competition. Boxes will be sold on a first come, first serve basis. To purchase a box for pageant week, contact missarkansastickets@gmail.com.

JUNE 13 - 17, 2017

We look forward to seeing you at the 80th Anniversary of Miss Arkansas. Miss Arkansas and Miss
Arkansas Outstanding Teen 2017 pageant competition is June 13-17, 2017 at the Robinson Center
Auditorium, Little Rock, AR. Arrival is Saturday, June 10, 2017.

 All Hotel reservations are between you and the hotel
 Reservations must be made prior to 5/01/17 for rate given
 These are the Hotels that have blocks for the Miss Arkansas Pageant the week of June 10th –
June 17th, 2017
 If you have already made reservations, call back and ask if a change to this rate is possible
 Once these blocks of rooms are gone the rate will be different than the price quoted
 “First come, first served” Also, please note that the dates vary a little from hotel to hotel as far
as the rooms blocked

111 W. Markham St.
Little Rock, AR 72201
501-374-7474 or 501-370-7062
$185 per night

3 Statehouse Plaza
Little Rock, AR 72201
$124 per night

424 W. Markham St.
Little Rock, AR 72201

219 River Market Ave.
Little Rock, AR 72201
$159 per night

320 River Market Ave.
Little Rock, AR 72201
$149 per night

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Little Rock) September 20, 2016

The Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant announced Tuesday that for the first time in pageant history it will combine pageant weeks with it's sister program, the Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen Pageant.  Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen competition will be held in conjunction with the Miss Arkansas 2017 pageant.

Previously the Outstanding Teen Pageant had been held during a separate week in Russellville and Hot Springs.

"This is a great opportunity to combine our Miss Arkansas Pageant with the Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen program into a beautiful celebration of our contestants and their academic and community achievements.  It will be an incredible move forward for both of our programs,"  said Jessie Ward Bennett, Miss Arkansas Executive Director.  "We are excited to grow our programs in new ways at our new home in Little Rock." 

Both state pageants will be held June 11-17 in Little Rock at the newly renovated Robinson Auditorium.

The Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen program is a part of the America's Outstanding Teen program.  It is the sister program to Miss America and promotes scholastic achievement, creative accomplishment, healthy living and community involvement for America's teens.

Thomas Collins, Executive Director for Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen, said "the Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen Board of Directors looks forward to a partnership with Miss Arkansas."  They look forward to celebrating the 80th Anniversary of the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant in June.

Details on the schedule for the combined pageants are still being worked out and will be released as soon as they become available.

*Appearances - To book Miss Arkansas please visit www.missarkansas.org/book

You may also email the Business Manager at info@missarkansas.org or call (501)321-3506.


*Media Booking - For media inquiries or interviews please contact Toni Bahn, the Director of Media and Publicity for the Miss Arkansas Pageant, at (479)409-4389 or missarkansaspress@gmail.com .

Atlantic City, NJ (September 12, 2016) – Miss Arkansas, Savvy Janine Shields, was crowned Miss America 2017 tonight at the birthplace of the legendary competition in Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall for its 96th Anniversary broadcast on the ABC Television Network. Returning for his 8th time as host, Chris Harrison was joined by co-host Sage Steele and celebrity judges Ciara, Mark Cuban, Gabby Douglas, Sara Foster, Laura Marano, Cole Swindell and Miss America 1985 Sharlene Wells Hawkes. The evening included a 9/11 tribute in honor of the 15th anniversary.

Shields’ acceptance of the highly-coveted crown is just the beginning of a journey that will take her to every corner of the nation and around the world during her year of service as Miss America 2017. She will embark on her national speaking tour about her platform, Eat Better, Live Better and act as the official National Goodwill Ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for its 170 member hospitals, is the national platform partner of the Miss America Organization.

Shields is a student at the University of Arkansas. During her year as Miss America she will serve as a spokesperson for Eat Better, Live Better. Along with the coveted title of Miss America 2017, Shields won a $50,000 scholarship provided in part by Joseph Ribkoff Inc. and the Miss America Organization to continue her education. For the talent portion of the competition, Shields performed a jazz dance to “They Just Keep Moving The Line” from the American drama series Smash.

The first runner-up in the competition was Miss South Carolina Rachel Wyatt who earned a $25,000 scholarship. Her talent was dance and her personal platform is Autism Speaks. The second runner-up is Miss New York Camille Sims and received a $20,000 scholarship.  Her talent was jazz vocal, and her personal platform is Encouraging Wellness and Fostering Food Justice. Third runner-up Miss Washington Alicia Nicole Cooper received a $15,000 scholarship. Her talent was tap dance and her platform is Live on Purpose: Defining Your Legacy. Fourth runner up Miss Mississippi Laura Lee Lewis was awarded a $10,000. Her talent was vocal and her platform is Mentoring Matters.

The 52 contestants, who represented all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, participated in preliminary competitions earlier in the week. Miss Kentucky Laura Katherine Jones was the winner of “America’s Choice,” an online competition where viewers were given the opportunity to vote for their favorite Miss America contestant entirely on social media. The winner of “America’s Choice” advanced to the Top 15 in the competition.

Founded in 1921, the Miss America Organization is one of the nation’s leading advocates for women’s education and the largest provider of scholarship assistance to young women. The Miss America Organization and its 52 state organizations award millions in cash and in-kind scholarships annually. The Miss America Organization also provides young women with a vehicle to further their personal and professional goals and instills within them a spirit of community service through a variety of nationwide community-based programs.


City of Little Rock Welcomes Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant Little Rock, Ark. (August 31, 2016) – The Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau (LRCVB) and the City of Little Rock are thrilled to welcome the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant to their new home in the Robinson Center.

 "We are thrilled to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Miss Arkansas Pageant in our new home, Little Rock and the newly renovated Robinson Center where the 80th Miss Arkansas will be crowned on June 17, 2017,” said Jessie Ward Bennett, Miss Arkansas Pageant Executive Director. “We look forward to developing a long-term relationship with Little Rock and Central Arkansas. We want the Little Rock metropolitan area to become a part of our annual festivities and celebrate Miss Arkansas year-round.”

As Arkansas’s capital city and cultural core, Little Rock is home to a myriad of attractions, including the iconic Robinson Center, the pageant’s new home. This 1939 historic landmark is closing in on a 28-month, $70-million-dollar renovation and expansion. The integrity of the exterior has been preserved, while the interior will boast a new state-of-the-art performance hall, and a new conference center addition with an outdoor terrace overlooking the scenic Arkansas River.

 “As Little Rock becomes the host of this popular annual event, LRCVB looks to forge a long-lasting partnership with pageant representatives as we plan to showcase the city to its contestants, and their family and friends,” said LRCVB President & CEO, Gretchen Hall. “In the coming days, Robinson Center will soon be a world-class facility, and that has helped attract this world-class event,” she added.

“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to host the Miss Arkansas Pageant,” said Little Rock Mayor, Mark Stodola. “This organization represents the very best of our state. As a nationwide leader in educational scholarships, it is a testament to the commitment and investment in our 2 future leaders,” he added. “I’m confident these women will embrace our city and all we have to offer.” "We are extremely grateful for the long tenure in which the Miss Arkansas Pageant was held in Hot Springs. Multiple generations of Arkansans have collectively seen fifty-eight women crowned Miss Arkansas in Hot Springs, two of whom subsequently became Miss America," said Bennett. "As one of those fifty-eight women, I have a special place in my heart for the Hot Springs-based organization that provided unbelievable opportunities to me. However, we have been faced with tighter restrictions for the past few years with regard to the Miss America competition. We had to move the pageant to an early to mid-June time frame, and scheduling conflicts prevented us from remaining in Hot Springs,” she added.

The 2017 Miss Arkansas Pageant will be held at Robinson Center in June. The adjoining Doubletree Hotel, going through its own multi-million-dollar renovation, will serve as the host hotel for contestants and pageant officials. The LRCVB is already working to develop a week long plan of engaging experiences for contestants during their stay. Additional Information: Miss Arkansas Scholarship Foundation - The Miss Arkansas Scholarship Foundation is a volunteer-staffed, registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and the sole fundraising entity for the Miss Arkansas Pageant. For decades, the Pageant has maintained a tradition of empowering young women to achieve their personal and professional goals while providing a forum in which to express their opinions, talents and intelligence.

LRCVB Mission - The Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau (LRCVB) is the official destination marketing organization of Little Rock. LRCVB is charged with improving the quality of life and the local economy by bringing visitors, meetings, conventions and events to the city; and serving customers, visitors and delegates with courtesy, knowledge and skill.

Jessie Ward Bennett, Miss Arkansas Executive Director
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Toni Bahn, Director of Media Relations Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant missarkansaspress@gmail.com



 The Miss Arkansas Pageant is excited to welcome Amanda Peters as our Miss Arkansas Office Business Manager! Amanda Peters lives in Little Rock with her husband and two kids, Noah (age 9) and Anna (age 7).  She grew up in Texarkana and graduated with a degree in finance from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.  Her previous work experience includes bank management and consulting.  As a bank consultant she conducted audits and assisted banks with mergers and acquisitions.  Amanda took time off work to be a stay-at-home mother.  She has been very active in the PTA at her kids school serving several years as the treasurer and currently as the President where she oversees the recruitment of volunteers, events, business sponsors and fundraising efforts. Amanda is very excited to join the Miss Arkansas organization!

Our dear friend Leonette Bryant will remain working with the pageant in a very important capacity of marketing and booking solely for Miss Arkansas Savannah Skidmore. Leo has been an incredible asset to our organization and I am thrilled that she will remain with us as we transition the organization in very important ways this year. 

Please feel free to reach out to Amanda to welcome her aboard! 

Jessie Bennett


July 9, 2016
Savvy Shields wins the title of Miss Arkansas 2016
Toni Bahn – Director of Media Relations - missarkansaspress@gmail.com

HOT SPRINGS –  Miss Heart of the Ozarks Savvy Shields won the title of Miss Arkansas 2016 Saturday night at the 79th Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant.  The pageant took place at the Bank of the Ozarks Arena in Hot Springs in front of a crowd of more than 2,500 people.

Shields won a $25,000 scholarship provided by Ted and Shannon Boy Skokos, Citgo and the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Foundation and more than $75,000 in awards, wardrobe, transportation, and gifts.  McDaniel will represent Arkansas at the 2017 Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City and will make appearances across the Natural State promoting the Children’s Miracle Network, the Arkansas Children’s Hospital, her personal platform of “Eat Better, Live Better” and speaking in support of the goals of the Miss Arkansas and Miss America system.

Shields was crowned by the outgoing Miss Arkansas, Loren McDaniel, of Van Buren.

Nearly $122,000 in scholarships were awarded throughout the week to various contestants.

Shields is a Senior at the University of Arkansas majoring in Art with a Business minor.  She is the 21-year old daughter of Todd and Karen Shields of Fayetteville.  For her talent selection she performed a jazz dance to “Just Keep Moving the Line.”

Shields was Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen 2009.

 The other Top Five Finalists were: 
1st runner-up (receiving a $10,000 scholarship sponsored by Charles and Susie Morgan):  Miss University of Arkansas Savannah Skidmore
2nd runner-up (receiving a $7,000 scholarship sponsored by the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Foundation):  Miss South Central Arkansas Brooke Cornelius
3rd runner up (receiving a $6,000 scholarship sponsored by Former Miss Arkansas Association): Miss ASU Bailey Moses
4th runner-up: (receiving at $5,000 scholarship sponsored by Robin Houseworth and Sarah Nail): Miss UCA Ashton Purtle

The six semi-finalists were (each receiving a $2,000 scholarship sponsored by Jane White Cosmetics and Skin Care) – finishing 6-11 and listed in random order:
*Miss Central Arkansas Caitlyn Cook
*Miss Ouachita River Samantha Hudon
*Miss Northeast Arkansas Destiny Quinn
*Miss Greater Hot Springs Stoni Butler
*Miss Arkansas Delta Maggie Benton
*Miss Lights of the Delta Jennifer Ulloa

Also announced were those finishing 12-15 in random order (each receiving a $1,000 scholarship sponsored by Oaklawn, Regions Bank of Hot Springs, Clay & Brittany Combs, MAEDA and the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Fund)
*Miss Lake Dardanelle Alexis Sanders
*Miss Dogwood Abby Lindsey
*Miss Greater Jonesboro Jade Collins
*Miss Northwest Arkansas Jacey Winn

Additional awards announced during Saturday’s pageant:

*Tony Bowls Designs Overall Evening Gown - $1500 given by Tony Bowls Designs – Heart of the Ozarks Savvy Shields
*Katie Bailey Overall Swimsuit - $1500 given by Dr. Michael Cooper – Heart of the Ozarks Savvy Shields
*Sarah Slocum Overall Interview - $2000 given by Renee Fronabarger – Arkansas Valley Darynne Dahlem
*Buddy Coleman Memorial Overall Talent - $2500 given by Buddy Coleman Family – Central Arkansas Caitlyn Cook

*Dreamer Scholarship - $250 – Alexis Sanders, Lake Dardanelle – presented by Simone Mullinax
*Overall Service Before Self Award - $250 – Suzie Gresham, OBU – presented by the Miss Arkansas Pageant
*Julie Blackwood Steele Smart Swimsuit Award -$250 – Ashton Purtle, UCA – presented by Julie Blackwood Steele
*Shannon Albright Memorial Congeniality Award - $350 – Kelli Collins, Greater Jacksonville – presented by June and Leland Felix
*Newcomer Awards - $500 each – Alexis Sanders, Lake Dardanelle / Ashton Purtle, UCA / Savvy Shields, Heart of the Ozarks – presented by Dr. Rhys Branman
*Miss Arkansas People’s Choice Award - $1000 – Miss Sweetheart of Arkansas Jennifer Nottenkamper – presented by the Miss Arkansas Pageant
*Gracie Nail Education Award in Talent – $500 – Alexi Sanders, Lake Dardanelle – presented by Sarah & John Nail and Bill Hunter
*Lainie Nail Education Award in Interview – $500 - Alexis Sanders, Lake Dardanelle  - presented by Sarah & John Nail and Bill Hunter
*Overall Alpha Evening Gown - $250 – Savvy Shields, Heart of the Ozarks – presented by the Miss Arkansas Executive Directors Association
*Overall Alpha Talent - $250 – Savvy Shields, Heart of the Ozarks – presented by the Miss Arkansas Executive Directors Association
*Overall Alpha Swimsuit - $250 – Savvy Shields, Heart of the Ozarks – presented by the Miss Arkansas Executive Directors Association
*Overall Alpha Interview - $250 – Savvy Shields, Heart of the Ozarks – presented by the Miss Arkansas Executive Directors Association
*Ashlen Batson Esprit De Corp Award - $500 – Samantha Hudon, Ouachita River – presented by Bill Tarkington and Mike Spivey
*Mary Jane Mullins Non-Finalist Interview Award - $500 – Darynne Dahlem, Arkansas Valley – presented by Dr. Patti Mullins
*Non-Finalist Swimsuit Award - $500 – Sarah Clayton, Southwest Arkansas – Anne Marie Gibbs and Fine Lines Personal Training
*Non-Finalist Dance Award - $250 – Jennifer Nottenkamper, Sweetheart of Arkansas – presented by The Studio by Lauren / Lauren Wood
*Non-Finalist Vocalist Award - $250 – Rebecca Zurcher, North Central Arkansas – presented by Brad and Zach Stout
*Overall Instrumentalist Award - $250 – Alexis Sanders, Lake Dardanelle – presented by Kerry Jucas Baldwin
*Sloane Roberts Overall Dance Award - $500 – Brooke Cornelius, South Central Arkansas -
*Frances Wilson Overall Vocalist Award – $500 – Caitlyn Cook, Central Arkansas – presented by CJ Wilson
*Miss America State Scholar -$1000 – Carly Copeland, Arkansas Tech University – presented by the Miss America Organization
*Miss America Community Service - $1000 – Caitlyn Cook, Central Arkansas – presented by the Miss America Organization
*Miss Arkansas Quality of Life - $2000 – Bailey Moses, Arkansas State University – presented by the Miss Arkansas Pageant

    The pageant is co-sponsored by the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant, Inc., The Greater Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce, Visit Hot Springs and the City of Hot Springs.

    This was the 79th Anniversary of the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant.  Several former Miss Arkansas were on hand tonight to help crown the new Miss Arkansas.  They were: 
Miss Arkansas 1945 Leslie Hampton Scott
Miss Arkansas 1963 and Miss America 1964 Donna Axum Whitworth
Miss Arkansas 1967 Sharon Evans Bale
Miss Arkansas 1981 Micki Petrus Konechny
Miss Arkansas 1983 Regina Hopper
Miss Arkansas 1987 Carole Lawson Lang
Miss Arkansas 1991 Heather Hunnicutt Covington
Miss Arkansas 1992 Shannon Boy Skokos
Miss Arkansas 1994 Beth Anne Rankin
Miss Arkansas 1995 Paula Montgomery Swindle
Miss Arkansas 1996 Melonie McGarrah Moore
Miss Arkansas 1998 Erin Wheatley Parker
Miss Arkansas 2001 and current Executive Director Jessie Ward Bennett
Miss Arkansas 2004 Lacy Fleming Glover
Miss Arkansas 2006 Amber Bennett Bynum
Miss Arkansas 2007 Katie Bailey Harris
Miss Arkansas 2008 Ashlen Batson Thomason
Miss Arkansas 2009 Sarah Slocum Collins
Miss Arkansas 2010 Alyse Eady Lemmond
Miss Arkansas 2011 Kristen Glover Belew
Miss Arkansas 2012 Sloane Roberts Hocker
Miss Arkansas 2013 Amy Crain Gober
Miss Arkansas 2014 Ashton Campbell

For more information visit www.missarkansas.org or to schedule an appearance with the new Miss Arkansas please email info@missarkansas.org.