Ellensburg’s Distinguished Young Woman is now Washington’s representative to the 2020 National Distinguished Young Women national scholarship program.

Tesslyn Preppernau, daughter of Tandy and Ladd Preppernau, was selected Saturday during the annual state program held at Pullman High School’s theater.

Twelve high school seniors from across Washington performed to an enthusiastic audience of families and friends at the program’s competition. More than $8,000 in college scholarships and awards were shared among the young women.

The Ellensburg High School senior received a $3,500 cash scholarship with her title. She also won $200 Fitness, Talent, Self Expression, Interview and Scholastic judging category awards. Preppernau will go on to compete at the annual program in Mobile, Ala., next summer.

The first runner-up Lillian Kirry, DYW of Chewelah, received a $1,400 scholarship. The Jenkins High School senior also earned $200 awards in the Fitness and Talent judging categories. She also received the $500 Overrall Scholastic Award. Her parents are Melissa and Clinton Kirry.

DYW from Pullman, Suellen Rice, was the second runner-up. She received a $750 scholarship. The Pullman High School senior’s parents are Gladys and Raymond Rice.

The $300 Spirit Award, selected by the contestants themselves, went to Delaney Overbury, a senior at Asotin High School. Her parents are Summer and BradleyOverbury.

Hayden Fulfs, Colfax’s DYW, won a $200 Self Expression and Interview category awards. Her parents are Carey and Steven Fulfs. Brooke Bankus, Garfield-Palouse’s DYW, won a $200 Scholastic Award. Her parents are Amanda and Jason Bankus.

The participants were evaluated by a panel of judges in the following categories: Scholastics (25%), Interview (25%), Fitness (15%), Self-Expression (15%) and Talent (20%).

The judging panel was Linda Felber, of Salem, Ore., America’s Junior Miss and Washington’s Junior Miss 1964 (from Colfax); Lindsay Mathes, of Cheney, a 2005 Junior Miss; Teresa Hudak, of Spokane, a past state chairman for Washington’s Junior Miss and board member for 12 years; Lenne Jo Best, of Boise, celebrating 43 years with the program, beginning as Clarkston’s Junior Miss in 1975, Washington’s Junior Miss in January 1976, and America’s Junior Miss for 1976; and Julie Stonecipher-Yokel, of Walla Walla, Washington’s winner and the first runner-up at the national program in 1968.

Those participating in the 2019-2020 program include Kendal Correia, Almira-Coulee-Hartline (ACH); Shelby Forgey, Asotin; Lillian Kirry, Chewelah; Delaney Overberg, Clarkston; Hayden Fulfs, Colfax; Megan Kay, Colton/Uniontown; Tesslyn Preppernau, Ellensburg; Brooke Bankus, Garfield-Palouse; Kaitlyn Cornish, LaCrosse; Katheran Gingrich, Lind-Ritzville; Ellie Knox, Moses Lake; and Suellen Rice, Pullman.

Scholastic judge was Margo Balzarini, Colfax. Shirley Sears is choreographer for the opening number and self-expression category. Fitness was choreographed by Nicole Noto from the National program with local finessing by Carissa Little.

Co-chairs of the 2020 program are Danielle Kallaher, and Tricia Benton of Pullman. Other board members include Carissa Little and Marilyn Miller, of Colfax, and Mitch and Mary Jo Chandler, Miranda Chandler and Lynda Hamilton, all of Pullman.


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