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Seabeck native crowned Miss Kitsap 2008

Newly named Miss Kitsap Samantha Przybylek reaches for a hug from her pageant Little Sister Kiana Cheyney as former Miss Kitsap Megan Hornbuckle places her sash. - Photo by Jesse Beals
Newly named Miss Kitsap Samantha Przybylek reaches for a hug from her pageant Little Sister Kiana Cheyney as former Miss Kitsap Megan Hornbuckle places her sash.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

By WESLEY REMMER

Staff writer

Megan Hornbuckle passed the coveted crown of Miss Kitsap on to Seabeck native Samantha Przybylek at the annual Miss Poulsbo/Miss Kitsap Scholarship Pageant Saturday evening, marking the end of one era and the beginning of another.

Przybylek, 21, a student at Olympic College, will step into her role as Miss Kitsap 2008 beginning today.

“It’s pure amazement and excitement,” Przybylek said after winning the crown. “I am so unbelievably ecstatic right now because we have worked so hard for this.”

Przybylek, a 2005 Klahowya Secondary School grad, was awarded a $5,000 scholarship, the Miss Kitsap crystal trophy and the opportunity to compete at the Miss Washington pageant in July.

“Over the last three years, since I ran for Miss Kitsap in 2005, I feel like I’ve grown so much,” she said of her to journey to becoming Miss Kitsap. “I’m so ecstatic to have this title.”

Przybylek was a senior at Klahowya the year she first ran for Miss Kitsap, still forming her own ideals and values, and left for college after the 2005 competition.

“I went away for school, (and) it was not a good fit,” she said. “I came back (to Kitsap County) and instantly felt at home.”

Since returning to Kitsap County, Przybylek has been a visible figure, volunteering at the community service projects, Festival of Trees and Race for the Cure. She currently works as a certified nursing assistant at Belmont Terrace in Bremerton.

Her platform is the “Children’s Miracle Network.”

“The impact that the Miss America Organization can have on society through the partnership with Children’s Miracle Network is immeasurable,” Przybylek said. “As a volunteer for my local hospital, I have seen several families with children from a variety of illnesses, and I think of no better place for them than a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital...I am proud to be part of both organizations.”

Przybylek said one of the highlights of this year’s pageant was working with her Little Sister, 8-year-old Kiana Cheyney.

Each Miss Poulsbo/Miss Kitsap pageant contestant mentors a Little Sister — an elementary-aged student aspiring to become a pageant participant.

“I love my Little Sister. I actually consider her part of my family,” Przybylek said. “I adore her family.”

Przybylek also praised the efforts and character of her 12 fellow contestants, adding that the event was more about camaraderie than competition.

“I love them. We had a great group of girls this year,” she said. “We bonded and formed lifelong friendships.”

Throughout the upcoming year, Przybylek also will work closely with Amy Stadshaug, who won the 2008 Miss Poulsbo crown at Saturday’s pageant.

“We are so excited because Amy and I are good friends, and we are so ecstatic to be working together,” Przybylek said. “This year’s going to be a blast.”

“Amy and Samantha will make an outstanding team this year,” added Miss Poulsbo/Miss Kitsap Scholarship Organization Executive Director Michele Wasson. “They are both very talented and well-rounded, but more importantly they are both very kind and respectful — true role models for the young women of Kitsap County.”

Przybylek will compete at the Miss Washington pageant — scheduled for July 11-12 at the Pantages Theatre in Tacoma — with an opportunity to advance to the Miss America pageant.

And Wasson will work with both girls leading into Miss Washington, offering advice and input, and will guide them through their reigns as Miss Poulsbo and Miss Kitsap.

“They are both willing to try new things and embrace change,” Wasson said of Stadshaug and Przybylek. “They are a joy to work with because they both truly want to give service to the community of Kitsap County.”

Sheila Spiker, a 23-year-old senior at the University of Washington, finished as runner-up to Przybyek. South Kitsap High School senior Melissa Carlson was named second runner-up.

Spiker received a $1,000 scholarship for her second-place finish, while Carlson earned a $750 scholarship. The Miss Poulsbo/Miss Kitsap Scholarship Organization handed out a total of $24,600 in scholarship money.

Judges also awarded “Personal Best” awards, recognizing each contestant’s top category. A number of $200 scholarship prizes also were handed out.

But Przybylek, who sang a Broadway rendition of “Popular” from the musical “Wicked,” finished on top.

“I have such a pride for my community — a respect, a love, I can’t even describe it,” Przybylek said. “It is a very big county, but everyone here is so close and so nice. It is unbelievable.”

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