Schofield named 2018 Distinguished Young Woman

Published 6:01 pm Tuesday, August 1, 2017

With a roar of approval that rang through the Ritz Saturday night, Hannah Schofield was awarded the 2018 Butler County Distinguished Young Woman medallion and with it, the opportunity to represent the county at the state program next year.

Schofield, who will be a senior at Fort Dale Academy this fall, won category awards in both interview and talent as well as receiving the prized Spirit of Junior Miss award voted on by her fellow participants.

Schofield’s winning talent presentation was a soulful vocal performance of “Wayfaring Stranger.”

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When asked what her plans were for the future following the program, Schofield flashed a sunny grin and replied, “I am going to state where I am going to knock them out.”

The new DYW for Butler County took home a $1,750 cash tuition scholarship and a $500 stipend for state, along with an additional $750 in cash tuition scholarships for her two category awards and “Spirit” award.

First runner up was Fort Dale Academy’s Amber Smith, who won both the scholastics and self-expression awards, taking home a $1,250 cash tuition scholarship along with $600 in scholarships for her category wins. Smith gracefully performed a lyrical dance to Broadway tune “I Am a Lost Boy” for her talent presentation.

Alyssa Lear of Greenville High School took second runner up honors and a cash tuition scholarship of $750. She was awarded the “Be Your Best Self” essay award and with it, a cash tuition scholarship of $150. For her talent, Lear performed a lively lyrical dance to Disney’s “Moana.”

Octavia Still of Georgiana High School took home the fitness award and a $300 cash tuition scholarship. Still’s talent presentation was a spirited dance to Whitney Houston’s pop hit, “I Want to Dance with Somebody.”

Other Butler County DYW participants were Courtney Powell of Georgiana High School, who performed an original poem inspired by the poetry of Rudy Francisco; Elli Zorn of Ezekiel Academy (home school), who played “Joyful, Joyful” on the piano; Janasia Johnson of Georgiana High School, who performed Adele’s hit “Hello” on the saxophone and Lauren Pierce of McKenzie High, who gave a dramatic recitation of the poem “Very Large Moth” by Craig Arnold.  Last year’s “Be Your Best Self” essay winner, Jennifer Grace Arnold, read her winning composition for the audience.

The Lowndes County DYW program once again shared the stage with the Butler County program, with Sara Carlton of Fort Dale Academy taking the title of Lowndes County’s DYW for 2018 and Hannah Rogers of Lowndes County taking first runner up honors. Carlton, whose older sister Mary Claire was the 2016 Lowndes County DYW, performed “Toccato” on the piano. Rogers, in full Western regalia, presented a monologue on finding your inner cowgirl.

There was no lack of additional entertainment on stage Saturday night. The evening’s mistress of ceremonies Cailyn Thompson, 2015 Butler County DYW, performed the National Anthem to open the program. She later returned to the stage to perform several pop tunes. Both Mary Hannah Miller, the 2016 Butler County winner and Madison Ann Gaston, the 2017 Butler County DYW, respectively shared their talents through song and dance, with Dakota Calloway, Lowndes County’s DYW for 2017, performing on piano.

A young man described as “the sweetheart of DYW,” Stirling Hamilton, familiar to many from his performances in “Putting on the Ritz” as well as the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, also shared his vocal talents with the audience.

The DYW Little Sisters— high school juniors Abbie Salter, Grayson McCall, Kelsey Woodard, Kristian Ballard, Riley Campbell, Mary Katherine Salter, Hayden Fail, Caroline Wood and Emma Thompson—also performed a lively dance routine to “Salute.”

One of the highlights of the evening was the performance by the little girls who participated in the annual High Heel Boot Camp earlier this summer, a program which gives youngsters a taste of what the DYW program is all about. Harper Johnson, Aubrey Davis, Carsyn Smith, Alli Pierce, Sarah Lowery, Vivian Salter, Adalyn Lett, Camille Bozeman, Mary Henderson, Alexis Sheets, Alex Langston, Taylor Hunnicutt, Mary Ellen Simmons, Preslie Rutland, Minnie Jackson, Audrey Jackson and Emilee Myrick delighted the audience with their enthusiastic dance.