“I’ve dreamed of this since I was three years old,” said 14-year-old Kira Gardner after she was crowned Miss Lehi’s Outstanding Teen 2022 on Saturday, June 4. “I am excited and ready to serve Lehi.”
Eight Lehi teens competed in private interviews with six judges, lifestyle and fitness, talent and evening wear/on-stage questionsfor the title of Miss Lehi’s Outstanding Teen. Each candidate has a Social Impact Initiative (SII) they promote during their year of service and competition. Judges look for candidates who havepassion and a plan.
“I took the energy from a bad experience and put it into dancing. I found out how resilient I am,” Kira said, explaining her SII“Hope Through the Arts.” In addition to being a dancer, she is the owner of Kira’s Bloom and Blush Flowers, a floral design business she started with an FFA grant she won with the help of her favorite teacher at Viewpoint Middle School, Miss Nicole Hopkins
Kira Gardner won the title of Miss Lehi’s Outstanding Teen with a scholarship of $1,000 and the Evening Wear/On-stage Question Award of $100 and $50 for selling the most tickets to the competition at Skyridge High School.
“We can’t believe you’re only 14! You’re so articulate and poised,” said Jodi Lee Nicholes, one of Miss Lehi’s Outstanding Teen judges.
“I’ve judged many times and never had to fight emotions before,” added Veronica Grgich, another judge. “The girls were genuinely supportive of each other. We could hear them cheering each other on from backstage. That’s a special thing to see in a competition like this.”
Miss Lehi Hannah Norton and 2021 Miss Lehi’s Outstanding Teen Annabelle McKinnon emceed the competition Saturday night with help from Annabelle’s father, Noah McKinnon. Each of the three hosts sang a number, and Miss Utah’s Outstanding Teen, Jocelyn Osmond, played the piano. The talent portion of the show featured a science experiment onstage by Kallia Fuller, dramatic readings by Hannah Shelley and Abby Sanderson, vocal solos from Liberty Fuller and Alyssa Loftin and dance numbers by Beau Eldredge and Kira Gardner.
Desiree McKinnon was crowned First Attendant with a $500 scholarship, and she took home the Talent Award with a $100 cash prize. Desiree’s ventriloquist performance was the highlight of the talent category and an audience favorite.
Miss Lehi’s Outstanding Teen Second Attendant is Kallia Fuller. Each member of Lehi’s teen royalty will be sophomores in high school this Fall.
Beau Eldredge, who also just finished ninth grade, won the Director’s Award and the Spirit of Miss Lehi’s Outstanding Teen Award (Miss Congeniality).