HJ-ED-DHJ

August 6, 2007

Eight girls vie for Miss Cokato crown

Seven girls will take part in the coronation for Miss Cokato on Tuesday, Aug. 14 at 8 p.m.

Sasha Hancock

Parents: Kevin and Sherry Hancock

Siblings: Three siblings

High School: Dassel-Cokato High School

Career ambition: Forensic science

College choice: St. Cloud State

Current Employment: N/A

Favorite school activities: The blood drive, dressing up on homecoming week, Jr./Sr. Wars, basketball games, prom, raising money for various things such as Pennies for Patients.

Other activities and interests: Going to the beach, scrapbooking, arts and crafts, rollerblading, biking, the sciences, camping, going to carnivals and fairs, horseback riding, and watching rugby games on TV.

Special awards and honors: Student of the Month, Courtesy and Respect nominee, academic awards for all four years in high school, social studies award, science student of the years and letter award in academics.

Favorites: TV show, “Veronica Mars,” “CSI,” “Law and Order;” novel, “Harry Potter series; recording artist, Eminem; sport star, David Beckham; personality of today, Angelina Jolie; personality of the past, Carson Daily.

Other information or experiences you feel would be of interest: The summer after eighth grade, I went to Australia and New Zealand for the People to People Student Ambassador Program. It lasted 22 days, overseas.

What do you consider to be your greatest asset: My personality, because I am very outgoing, laid back, and I can easily make the awkward silences go away.

What is your motivation for becoming a competitor for the title of Miss Cokato? What do you feel you will gain from this experience? I want to have a fun summer with the girls and get to know them better. My motivation is the fun I would have if I became crowned. I hear stories about parades and events that happen during the royalty’s reigns and I want to be a part of that.

Alisha Johnson

Parents: Daryl and Daneen Johnson

Siblings: Two siblings

High School: Dassel-Cokato High School

Career ambition: Nursing

College choice: Ridgewater College

Current employment: Daniel’s Family Restaurant

Favorite school activities: Homecoming, softball, cheerleading, going to the games, school dances, being with friends and social interaction.

Other activities and interests: Babysitting, work, bowling, movies, going to the lake, being with my friends, and volunteer work.

Special awards and honors: Outstanding academic achievement award, superior rating in choir, which I have been in for four years, and also in elementary and middle school.

Favorites: TV show, “Veronica Mars;” novel, “In a Million Little Pieces” by James Frey; recording artist, The Frey and Jewel; sports star, David Beckham.

Other information or experiences you feel would be of interest: I like meeting new people and getting to know them. I’m more of a “people person!”

What do you consider to be your greatest asset: I would have to say my personality, my smile and my eyes. I believe I am outgoing and fun to be around.

What is your motivation for becoming a competitor for the title of Miss Cokato? What do you feel you will gain from this experience? My motivation is my younger family members and my friends. If I could win the title of Miss Cokato, I could show them that dreams come true. From this experience, I would gain friendships and it would be a great experience. It’s also a one-time chance event and I think it would be so much fun meeting new people. Also, to have the honor of representing Cokato as my hometown.

Megan Johnson

Parents: Chris and Connie Johnson

Siblings: One brother, one step brother

High School: Dassel-Cokato High School

Career ambition: English education

College choice: St. Cloud State University

Current Employment: Marketplace deli, Cokato

Favorite school activities: Softball and basketball

Other activities and interests: Photography, horseback riding, four-wheeling, boating, and music. I was a 4-H member for many years, acting as vice president and mentor for young children, as well as participating in the FLY mentoring program in school. I also enjoy showing horses and getting awards at the Wright Co. Fair.

Special awards and honors: Honorble mention in softball, all conference twice, WCC team 2006, highest batting average, highest on-base average, varsity letters, basketball varsity letter 2007, in junior high, I earned most points scored, rebounds and steals (fun!).

Favorites: TV show, “House;” novel, “The Notebook;” recording artist, Queen; sports star, Joe Mauer; personality of today, Sandra Bullock; personality of the past, Helen Keller.

Other information or experiences you feel would be of interest: I’m a sports nut; softball (I love playing...won state softball tournament last year and it was a great experience!) I love Twins baseball and also basketball, etc. I love working with and teaching younger children.

What do you consider to be your greatest asset: Personality and my eyes (they’re two different colors.)

What is your motivation for becoming a competitor for the title of Miss Cokato? What do you feel you will gain from this experience?

Being able to meet new people and experience new things, to gain honor and pride by representing my hometown!

Nicole Kaczmarek

Parents: Joanne and the late Dean Kaczmarek

Siblings: One younger brother

High School: Dassel-Cokato High School

Career ambition: Elementary teacher

College choice: College of St. Benedict

Current employment: I work through Meeker Co. Community Homes as a personal care attendant for a boy with Downs syndrome. This summer I have been tutoring two elementary students. I also enjoy babysitting for various families.

Favorite school activities: Volleyball, drumline, marching band, drum major for marching band, concert band, pep band, pit orchestra, National Honor Society, Student Council and FLY mentoring program. Favorites of all these activities are drumline, marching band, student council and NHS.

Other activities and interests: I enjoy helping out at vacation Bible school as a crew leader, refereeing for seventh and eighth grade volleyball games, ushering at the Performing Arts Center, helping out at “Feed My Starving Children,” and being a first grade religion teacher. I also enjoy spending time with family and friends, shopping, biking, and spending time on the lake.

Special awards and honors: Outstanding mathematics award, four-year academic letter recipient, eight music letters, named in Who’s Who Among American High School Students, nominated four times for Courtesy and Respect Award, recipient of Courtesy and Respect Award and scholarship, nominated for Student of the Month Award, drum major for the marching band for two years, and received the John Philip Sousa award.

Favorites: TV show, “The Hills;” novel, “The Wedding” by Nicholas Sparks; recording artist, Martina McBride; sports star, Dale Ernhardt Jr.; personality of today, Oprah Winfrey; personality of the past, Dean Kaczmarek (my dad).

Other information or experiences you feel would be of interest: I have been through good times and bad times in my life. On May 28, 2003 my dad passed away due to an illness. It was a very challenging and difficult time for me. The support from my family, friends, and the community gave me strength to work through this obstacle in my life and because of that, it has made me a stronger person.

What do you consider to be your greatest asset: My greatest asset is my personality. I consider myself to be a friendly, fun loving, compassionate, optimistic, and welcoming type of individual. My personality and smile draw others of all ages to me. Therefore, I enjoy meeting and getting to know others.

What is your motivation for becoming a competitor for the title of Miss Cokato? What do you feel you will gain from this experience?

There are many reasons why I am motivated to be a competitor for Miss Cokato. The main reason is how much the community of Cokato means to me. I was born and raised in Cokato, which has been a good foundation for me. The community has supported me over the years whether it was through school, helping my family when my dad died, or running for Miss Cokato. The support has been overwhelming and I would be very proud and honored to represent this community as Miss Cokato. I feel I can gain experience by speaking in front of groups of people at different events and activities along with meeting new people in our community and from other towns. I would also gain knowledge on local organizations and businesses as I attend events and activities.

Emily McConkey

Parents: Tracy and Melody

McConkey

Siblings: Two brothers

High School: Dassel-Cokato High School

Career ambition: Counseling of some sort, but starting as a math teacher

College choice: Northwestern College

Current Employment: Dietary assistant and nanny to two children

Favorite school activities: Golf, going to the many sporting events, helping coordinate the blood drive, helping at Operation Christmas Child.

Other activities and interests: Friends, being at the lake, reading, listening to music, being at camp (Shanlineau or Trout), golfing with friends, going out to eat and to the movies, and laughing.

Special awards and honors: Lettered in golf for four years, lettered academically four years, received outstanding math award in ninth grade, recipient of Courtesy and Respect Award, inducted into National Honor Society my sophmore year, received honorable mention in golf my junior year, received all-conference in golf my senior year, graduated with high honors, was student representative for the curriculum advisory committee, recipient of the Dollars for Scholars/Ness Scholarship and the Dollars for Scholars Scholarship.

Favorites: TV show, “The OC,” “The Office,” and “Amazing Race,” (three-way tie); novel, “Redeeming Love;” recording artist, Goo Goo Dolls; sports star, Tiger Woods; personality of today, Katie Couric; personality of the past, Audrey Hepburn.

Other information or experiences you feel would be of interest: I worked as part of the summer missions team at Camp Shamineau last summer. I acted as a junior counselor and I was also on crews for a couple of weeks

What do you consider to be your greatest asset: Probably my ability to adapt easily around people. They are then able to talk and feel comfortable around me, and their ability to trust me rises.

What is your motivation for becoming a competitor for the title of Miss Cokato? What do you feel you will gain from this experience?

My motivation came from the people who wanted me to run, other than that, I am here to have fun – fun and learn new things. After being a candidate for the past month, I have seen many royalty and all of the fun they are having and the events that they are experiencing. It would be amazing to be a part of that. Through this experience I believe I can gain a better knowledge of Cokato’s history and what is happening today. I also will, and have already as a candidate, gained many new friendships.

Anji Nyquist

Parents: Joel and the late Darlene Nyquist

Siblings: Four siblings

High School: Dassel-Cokato High School

Career ambition: TV personality

College choice: Mankato State University

Current Employment: Abercrombie and Fitch Co.

Favorite school activities: Cheerleading, FLY mentoring program, track and choir

Other activities and interests: Being with my family and friends, shopping, church activities, rollerblading, playing Frisbee golf, going to the beach and I really (surprisingly) enjoy going to work.

Special awards and honors: Most congenial, most spirited and most dedicated in cheerleading. I was chosen as an all-state cheer finalist out of over 100 girls; five cheerleading letters, and the Timothy Award (AWANA).

Favorites: TV show, “Jeopardy!;” novel, “The Rainmaker” or “Private” by Kate Brian; recording artist, GooGoo Dolls or Celine Dion; sport star, Peyton Manning; personality of today, Elizabeth Hasselbeck of “The View;” personality of the past, Jackie Onassis.

Other information or experiences you feel would be of interest: I was born in India and was adopted, but I didn’t come to America until I was 1 year old. In sixth grade, my mom was diagnosed with oral cancer and she passed away Jan. 3, 2002 when I was in seventh grade. The experience was traumatic and it was really hard for me to go through. But, I really think I’ve gained from it. I’ve grown up knowing a lot of things other kids didn’t know at the time. I really think the person I am now is totally different than the person I would be if my mom was still here. Even though she’s not, I’m still learning from her every day. I really like the person I’ve become and I know I wouldn’t be this way if I hadn’t had his experience.

What would you consider your greatest asset: My outgoing personality. It enables me to get to know people quickly and make situations more comfortable for other people. Also, the ability to make people feel really special and appreciated is another asset I consider to be valuable.

What is your motivation for becoming a competitor for the title of Miss Cokato? What do you feel you can gain from this experience? Being able to represent the town I’ve grown up in and come to love is my ultimate motivation for running. My second major motivation for running is the people that live here. I’ve seen firsthand how they help each other and support each other through everything. I think they need a representative that really knows what it means to be from Cokato and who really knows this town. The things I can gain from this experience are endless. Getting to know girls from all over Minnesota that feel the same about their towns as I do would be a really awesome experience. Also, I feel I could gain a lot more knowledge from this experience – knowledge about Cokato, the other girls, Minnesota, and myself. I really think I could learn a lot.

Logan Thomson

Parents: Scot and Sue Thomson

Siblings: Two siblings

High School: Dassel-Cokato High School

Career ambition: Early childhood psychologist

College choice: College of St. Benedict

Current Employment: Nanny for two children and fill-in at Keaveny Pharmacy in Cokato.

Favorite school activities: Volleyball, volleyball management, NHS, school newspaper (editor), FLY mentoring program, and community food drive student leader

Other activities and interests: Many various church activities and committees (E-team worship team, etc.), biking, being at the lake with friends and family, reading, learning guitar, volunteer activities, yoga, trail hiking with friends, and listening to music.

Special awards and honors: Varsity volleyball letter winner, four-year academic letter winner, graduated with high honors, “Golden Heart Award” from Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cokato, American Mathematics competition-first place school winner, Girls State selection for Cokato

Favorites: TV show, “Mythbusters;” novel, “My Friend Leonard” by James Frey or “Fight Club” by Chuck Panlunvik; recording artist, Jack Johnson; sport star, Logan Tom, star of USA Olympic women’s volleyball team; personality of today, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, stands true to her beliefs while keeping a smile all the time; personality of the past, Dana Reeve, amazing display of human character.

Other information or experiences you feel would be of interest: I take a great amount of pride in Cokato. I was given the opportunity to represent the community at MN Girls State in 2006 and would be ecstatic to represent it as royalty. I have a strong work ethic, which has led me to become a regent/trustees scholar at St. Benedict’s next year, but I also take time for family, friends, and laughter.

What do you consider to be your greatest asset: My greatest asset is my comfort and ease with people. I love seeing new faces and it doesn’t take long before a great conversation is rolling. Laughter is a significant key to happiness and I do what I can to put a smile on everyone’s face. My confidence, assertiveness, and sense of humor all contribute to making me a “people person” and I consider that a valuable asset.

What is your motivation for becoming a competitor for the title of Miss Cokato? What do you feel you will gain from this experience? Initially, I did not know exactly what it meant to be Miss Cokato. However, over the past few years, several friends have represented Cokato or surrounding towns as royalty and have had a truly amazing experience. The Miss Cokato program is an excellent opportunity to meet new people, learn about different communities, and most of all, represent my hometown of Cokato. The title of Miss Cokato would also be a fantastic chance to grow as an individual, as the candidacy has already shown.

Krystal Wanous

Parents: Larry and Linda Wanous

Siblings: four siblings

High School: Dassel-Cokato High School

Career ambition: Interior design

College choice: Ridgewater College

Current employment: SL Express

Favorite school activities: Cheer America

Other activities and interests: Work, horseback riding, hanging out with friends.

Special awards and honors: First-place trophy and ribbon in Cheer America, teacher assistant in high school, and student leader for Respect Retreat.

Favorites: TV show, “Fuse” and MTV; novel, anything by Christopher Pike; recording artist, Fall Out Boy; sport star, Dan Marino; personality of today, my mom; personality of the past, my grandma.

Other information or experiences you feel would be of interest: I have lived on a farm my whole life. I like to paintball, draw, go four-wheeling, snowmobiling and fishing.

What do you consider to be your greatest asset: I am good at drawing, kind and respectful, responsible, like working in groups, helping out, and am organized.

What is your motivation for becoming a competitor for the title of Miss Cokato? What do you feel you will gain from this experience? To try something new, to have fun, and it would be a new and good experience. I could gain friendships, leadership, and more responsibility.


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