Southridge students to compete at Miss Washington's Outstanding Teen pageant

By Loretto J. Hulse, Tri-City HeraldMay 22, 2014 

Their gowns and sportswear are ready, they've practiced their talent programs endless times, and three Southridge High School teens are ready to compete in Burien.

They'll be vying for the crown in the Miss Washington's Outstanding Teen pageant Saturday and Sunday.

One of the three competing is Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen Reagan Rebstock, 15, of Kennewick.

"I believe she'll do very, very well. I'm flying pretty high," said Dot Stewart. "Reagan's an amazing tap dancer -- she can really make those taps talk to you -- and is a very charming young lady."

Stewart has been the executive director of the Miss Tri-Cities Scholarship Program for the past 16 years. The Miss Tri-Cities and the Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen competitions are part of the scholarship program.

Even though this will be just her third competition, Reagan grew up in a pageant atmosphere.

Her grandmother, Patty White, owns the Dance Class studio in Richland and she, or someone from the studio, has been the choreographer for Miss Tri-Cities Scholarship Program for the past 25 years. Reagan's mom was second runner-up in the 1991 Miss Tri-Cities pageant and helps with the dance rehearsals.

"We've been going to the pageants since we were little," Reagan said.

Reagan's twin sister, Page, is competing in the Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen pageant this July.

Reagan said she's confident, yet "butterflies are dancing in my stomach."

Reagan is a freshman at Southridge High School. She'll be tap dancing to Runaway Baby by Bruno Mars in the talent portion.

Her platform is "Embracing Change: Turning Disabilities into Abilities." She's encouraging school-age and high school students to make people with disabilities an integral part of their lives. She participates in the Buddy Club program at Southridge, where mainstream students eat lunch with disabled students once a week allowing the students to form relationships.

She also organized the Buddy Club Talent Show two years ago.

"This is a positive way for disabled children from all Buddy Club programs to show everyone their amazing talents. More than 30 acts performed and it has been a sold out event both years," she said.

Proceeds help support the Buddy Club luncheons.

Reagan and Page are daughters of Wendy White and Andy Rebstock of Kennewick.

Payten Hart, 17, Miss Benton County's Outstanding Teen, also will be competing in the pageant.

The Southridge sophomore said she always has wanted to compete but fracturing her spine while doing a flip in a dance routine last year delayed her plans.

Her back is mostly healed, though Hart says she still has some problems but not enough to keep her from dancing at the pageant. She'll be doing a lyrical routine to Who You Are by Jessie J.

"This is my first pageant. It's exciting and I'm happy I took this opportunity.

"This is the last year I can compete in the Outstanding Teen program so I went for it. I'm nervous and excited. I chose a big one for my first pageant, but I'm really happy I took this opportunity," she said.

Her platform is "A Voice For Those Who Can't Speak," addressing animal abuse and neglect. Inspiration came from her love of animals. Hart has two, a tabby cat named Piper and a Cocker spaniel mix named Elcor.

Her parents are Angel and Casey Hart of Kennewick.

Tayler Plunkett, a junior at Southridge, won the title of Miss Sun Valley's Outstanding Teen, representing Yakima County, in August. Her parents are Roy and Tammy Plunkett of Kennewick.

She was second runner-up at last year's Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen pageant. Last August, she also won the title of Miss Sun Valley's Outstanding Teen, representing Yakima County.

Her platform is "Friends for Life: Unifying Teens With and Without Disabilities beyond the Tri-Cities and into Yakima County." She introduced the Buddy Club, which originated at Southridge High to the high schools of Yakima County.

She also serves on the Special Olympics Project Unify state committee, working to unite all high school students, with or without disabilities, through school sports and activities.

She also was chosen to represent the Mid-Columbia at the Washington Music Educators Association State Solo and Ensemble contest, April 25-26, at Central Washington University in Ellensburg.

The contestants in the Miss Washington's Outstanding Teen pageant will be judged on personal interview, talent, evening wear and on-stage question, academic achievement and lifestyle and fitness in active wear.

The event, a preliminary for the Miss American Outstanding Teen competition later this year, will be at the Highline Performing Arts Center, 401 S. 152nd St., Burien.

The preliminary competition is Saturday at Highline starting at 7 p.m. The final night begins at 6 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are available at www.brownpapertickets.com/profile/223199.

For more information about the competition, go to www.mwoteen.org.

-- Loretto J. Hulse: 582-1513; lhulse@tricityherald.com

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