Miss Washington Outstanding Teen Scholarship Organization

1004 1st St NE Auburn, WA 98002

OUR STAFF

Lona Graves, Executive Director

Lona Graves began her involvement with the Miss America System as a parent of "Little Sisters" when her daughters were involved.  She then moved into the positions of Events Coordinator, Assistant Co-Executive Director and then Co-Executive Director of both the Teen and Miss Programs on the local level for nine years.  Lona also judged several local pageants before she was asked to join the State Program in 2015.  Lona became Co-Executive Director of MWAOTeen in January 2016 and Executive Director in November of 2016; she hopes to continue to provide an exceptional program for the young ladies running in the State Program.  Lona is originally from North Dakota but has lived in Washington since she was 5 years old.  She is the mother of two beautiful daughters (Jansen and Jaden) and comes from a large family.  Lona has an identical twin sister and she loves spending time with her family.  Lona is a graduate from Western Washington University where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Parks and Recreation, focusing on Event Management.  Lona spent 30 years working in the field of Parks and Recreation for two major cities.  Lona is currently working as a Substitute Teacher with the Auburn School District and is an Events Coordinator on the side.  Lona's pageant highlights have included  two trips to Miss America and yearly trips to Miss America's Outstanding Teen Pageant in Orlando Florida.  Favorite Quote:  Nothing Is Impossible, The Word Itself Says I'm Possible - Audrey Hepburn.

Victoria Knight, Producer / Assistant Director / Photographer

Tori is proud to be producing the Miss Washington’s Outstanding Teen pageant as she began her journey with this organization 13 years ago. She competed a couple of times and eventually won Miss Washington’s Outstanding Teen in 2008. She then proceeded to compete in the Miss Washington Organization and funded her college career through scholarships. She is now a sixth grade teacher in the Bellevue School District and loves doing anything outdoors with her family!

Mike Miller, Judges Chair

Mike started his pageant career as an usher with the Pierce County Program and then moved into the Executive Director Position in 2002. In 2004 Mike took on the position of Field Director for the Miss Washington Program. Mike has been the Judges chair of the Miss Washington's Outstanding Teen Program for the past 12 years and has been a volunteer with the MWAOTeen program since it started 14 years ago. Mike is also the Secretary of the State Board. Mike is married to Peggy Miller, they just celebrated their 43rd Wedding Anniversary, Mike has two children and four grandchildren. Mike loves to do yard work and ride his tractor around their property. Mike is an avid Mariner and Seahawk fan, he loves his sports. Mike currently works as a substitute teacher in the Puyallup School District and is a Drivers Education Teacher. Prior to that, Mike spent 30 years as a Police Officer in Tacoma Washington where he retired in 2010. 

Cheryl Siegfried, Co-Judges Chair

Cheryl Siegfried began her involvement with the Miss America Organization over 30 years ago as a local Title Holder (Miss Kent 1986). While being a WA native Cheryl left the state after Graduating from Cornish College of the Arts with BA in Dance. She lived in Hawaii, WA DC, Michigan & Virginia before landing back home in 2003. She was recruited by some of her past volunteers to the Miss Seattle program as the Co-Judges Chair &  was than appointed as the Executive Director for the Miss Seattle Scholarship Organization from 2007-2014. Over the years she has also judged many local pageants throughout the state & been able to attend 3 Miss America's. She is now excited to join the MWOT  team in this new capacity. Cheryl has been a dedicated Real Estate Broker with Windermere & John L Scott with over 15 years experience in the business. In her spare time spending time with Family, great Friends & her beloved kitty Bella is at the top. 

Jill Cox Nicks, Open Contestant Liaison

Jill Nicks is a Puget Sound Washington native.  She has volunteered with the Miss America system since 2009 after following her daughter who competed for scholarships in several local pageants.  Jill has held numerous positions with a local pageant in Kitsap County including Vice President, President, Teen Director and Interim Director with her eldest daughter.  Jill attended Olympic College to obtain a Nursing Degree graduating in 1996 on the Dean List.  She has practiced as a Pediatric Nurse, Lactation Specialist and retired in 2017. Jill and her husband Jim call Poulsbo (Little Norway) home and have 3 grown children and 4 grandchildren.  Jill enjoys the opportunity to be of service as a volunteer at the state level, she is excited about her new role as open contestant liaison and to be part of the pageant family.  

Virgie Flascher, Backstage Coordinator

Virgie Flascher has been involved in pageants for over 30 years, as a parent, grandparent, volunteer and judge.  She is the grandmother of Victoria Knight, Miss Washington's  Outstanding Teen, 2008.  She is a board member of Queens For a Cure, a nonprofit organization, raising awareness and over $120,000.00 in the last 8 years. A proud mother and grandmother, she loves spending time with her family. Virgie is very excited to be working with the MWAOTeam.

Shelly Brown, Operations Coordinator

Shelly Brown is a Washington native that has been involved in pageants for over twenty years. She has volunteered and judged for many different programs, but her passion has always been with the Miss America Program.  Her personal relationship to Miss America began when she competed in the Miss Tri Cities Program. She has also cheered on her daughter Samantha who competed in the Miss Washington Outstanding Teen and Miss Washington Program as Miss Tri Cities, respectively.  Shelly graduated from Washington State University *Go Cougs* where she received her Bachelors Degree in Sociology along with her teaching degree from Heritage University.  She has loved teaching elementary students for 20 years. Shelly and her husband Scott reside in the Tri City area and are the parents of two grown children. 

Events Coordinator & Teen's In Training Coordinator

Merrick is a life-long Washington resident and lover of the Miss America Organization. She grew up backstage at Miss Tri-Cities, where her mom was a board member. She competed at the local level and after graduating the program (that sounds a lot nicer than getting too old, right?) decided to give back to the program that helped form who she is as a confident woman. Merrick has been a ladies director, judge, sponsor and coach to participants of all ages. This year, she is taking on the new responsibility of putting her graphic design skills to work by designing the Miss WA & Miss WAOT program books! She and her husband moved from Central to Western Washington with their three fur children in 2016. She is active in her church, loves to spend time in her happy place (Disneyworld) and is launching a Doula business this spring.
 

Merrick Kingman, Program Book Coordinator & Pageant Volunteer

Bio Coming Soon

Mario Coluccio, Web Developer / Marketing / Production Team

Bio Coming Soon

Jermaine Mendoza, Videographer

Lauren Sanford, Pageant Choreographer

Lauren Sanford started her dance training 25 years ago at Dancers’ Workshop in her hometown of Jackson, Wyoming. She primarily studied ballet, pointe, modern and jazz and became a member of their Junior Repertory Company at age 11. She studied and performed with the company for 7 years and was given the opportunity to work alongside and train with many notable choreographers and companies including San Diego Ballet, Elisa Monte, Richard Alston, Alonzo King's Lines Ballet, New York City Ballet, and Diavolo Dance Theater. Lauren also performed and competed in jazz, lyrical, contemporary, and hip hop with a competitive dance team for 4 years. Lauren relocated to Tacoma in 2007 to attend the University of Puget Sound to earn her degree in Science, Technology, and Society where she became very involved with the college dance community and began guest teaching and choreographing all over the Seattle/Tacoma area. Currently as a director, instructor, and choreographer for the Image Studio of Dance she trains recreational and pre-professional students, and choreographs for the Image Performing Company. Lauren has over 10 years of professional teaching and choreography experience, and her choreography has continued to be awarded at the regional and national levels. She loves being involved in the Seattle and Tacoma arts community and is always searching for ways to share her knowledge and passion for dance with young dancers everywhere! 

Peggy Miller, Executive Director of Miss WA & Teen Advisor

Peggy Miller began her involvement with the Miss America system as a sponsor for a local program in 2000. She continued her involvement at the local level until she was asked to move to the state program in 2002, where her desire grew to help others succeed in their endeavors with the Miss Washington Scholarship Organization. She became the Executive Director of the MWSO in 2007 and has since continued to build on the foundation laid by those that have gone before her taking the MWSO to new heights. Washington's representatives have been very successful at Miss America for several years thanks to the Washington State Pageant Family! Peggy is a Washington native, and is happily married to her husband Mike. They have two married children, and love spending time with their grandkids and family. Her motto for the MWSO comes from Russell Wilson, "Why Not Us!"