by Peter Bodley
A sense of community made all the difference for Samantha Phillippi when she decided to enter the 2012 Miss Coon Rapids Scholarship Pageant.
And she was thrilled and delighted to be selected as the new Miss Coon Rapids Saturday evening at the Coon Rapids High School auditorium.
She will now prepare for the 2012 Miss Minnesota Scholarship Pageant in June and the chance to advance to the Miss America Scholarship Pageant.
“I’m hoping it’s third time a charm,” Phillippi said.
That’s because Phillippi has finished second runner-up in the last two state pageants, first as Miss Mankato and in 2011 as Miss West Metro.
The Coon Rapids pageant is all about community and the scholarship committee is so supportive, according to Phillippi.
And she relishes the chance to become involved in the community as Miss Coon Rapids, Phillippi said.
Phillippi, who is from Oakdale, graduated from North St. Paul High School and earned a bachelor of science degree in dance in December 2011 from Minnesota State University, Mankato.
But she has not finished with college because she is completing a second degree in elementary education at Mankato, Phillippi said.
“I have a year left,” she said.
Her career goal is to become a kindergarten teacher, Phillippi said. “I love to teach kindergarten kids,” she said.
Phillippi’s mother is a third-grade teacher and it was not in her plans originally to follow in her mother’s footsteps and become a teacher.
That all changed when she got a job while in college working in a school.
“I was hooked,” Phillippi said. “It was an awesome feeling.”
A college professor at Mankato encouraged Phillippi to enter the Miss Mankato Pageant which led to her first appearance at Miss Minnesota in 2010.
“He told me I had to do it,” Phillippi said.
Her talent at the Miss Coon Rapids Pageant was a vocal and dance, a song and dance number from the musical, “Burlesque.”
It was the same number that she performed for her talent at the 2011 Miss Minnesota competition, Phillippi said.
“The song and dance is tiring, but very entertaining,” she said.
Phillippi has also kept her same platform from last year – “Dance This Weigh; Physical Activity for a Healthier Lifestyle.”
Good nutrition and physical activity for a health lifestyle is “my life’s passion,” according to Phillippi.
And she specifically wants to impart her message to the youth, Phillippi said.
During her reign as Miss Coon Rapids, Phillippi plans to make presentations on her platform to students in schools as well as community organizations, she said.
“My message is that living healthy means living a longer and full life,” Phillippi said.
As she prepares for the Miss Minnesota Pageant, Phillippi said she will be representing Coon Rapids and so wants to become involved in the community in getting the word out about her platform.
The daughter of Mark and Pam Phillippi, she has a younger sister, Ali, who is 19 years old.
Her hobbies and interests include dancing and singing, as well as outdoor activities, Phillippi said.
“I love to be physically active and constantly moving,” she said.
Peter Bodley is at [email protected]