‘Miss Sara Jo’ gains new perspective on pageants, wins crown

Published 7:12 pm Wednesday, June 25, 2014

6-25 MS. SR pic two web

Sara Jo Burks was crowned Ms. Senior Pike County 2014 Saturday night at the Claudia Crosby Theater on the campus of Troy University.

For Burks, the Ms. Senior Pike County Pageant was her first such competition since high school. She entered because she wanted to understand what its like to compete in a pageant.

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Burks has worked with the Miss Troy University, Miss Teen Trojan, Miss Troy and other pageants over the years and decided it was time for her to take the stage.

“I’ve worked with so many pageants and I wanted to understand what it’s really like to compete,” Burkes said. “I wanted the young women I work with to know that I’ve seen pageant competition through their eyes and I truly understand and know how it feels. That was my motivation to be in the Ms. Senior Pike County Pageant. And, hopefully, that will be motivation for the young women who participate in these pageants.”

Burks said it is important for pageant participants of all ages to realize that competition should be a positive experience.

“I want these young women to see that ‘Miss Sara Jo’ went out there and did her best, win or lose,” she said. “I was very excited and honored to win but, if I had not, I would still know that I gave it my best. And, that’s what’s most important, giving your best.”

Burks said she competed without the accompaniment of a kaleidoscope of butterflies.

“The only time I got nervous was during the talent portion of the competition. I’d had trouble with my voice and I didn’t know what was going to happen with it.”

Burks chose a song from “Cinderella,” “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” and her voice was with her all the way.

Ms. Senior Pike County 2014 Sara Jo Burks will represent Pike County in the Ms. Senior Alabama Pageant at Wallace Community College in Hanceville in August.

“I’m very excited to have this opportunity to represent Troy and Pike County at the state pageant,” Burks said. “I’ve got some big shoes to fill because Jane Thrash, the former Ms. Senior Pike County, was second runner-up in the state pageant. So, I’ve got pressure. But I’ll go and do my best for Pike County.”

Burks is the assistant director of housing at Troy University and has worked at the university for 27 years. She is housemother for Lambda Chi Alpha. She is a member of the choir at Southside Baptist Church. She is married to Larry Burks, a retired Alabama State Trooper. They have one daughter, Misty, and a three-year-old grandson, Caden.