Miss Largo - Payton Barrington
Mary Kathryn France is a sixteen-year-old sophomore at Pine View School for The Gifted and is enrolled in all AP and honors classes. She is a member of the academic clubs National Junior Honor Society and Future Business Leaders of America and is a member of volunteering clubs Kiwanis Key Club where she is a committee head, and PeaceJam where she is a Billion Acts of Peace ambassador. She is a member of The Cotillion Club of Sarasota and is an advocate of their partnership with the program Cinderella’s Closet, which provides formal wear to students who would otherwise not be able to afford it to attend the etiquette lessons and dances that the organization provides. Both in and out of her volunteering based clubs, Mary Kathryn volunteers at the organization Mothers Helping Mothers and is on the officer board of her music studio’s annual charity event Shred The Love, which raises money to provide underprivileged children with music lessons, by serving as secretary and helping with PR and donations, allowing her to combine her two greatest passions of service and music. Mary Kathryn’s platform is early childhood literacy, and in support of that, she runs a program called Royalty for Reading, where she has collected over 1,000 books and given them to underprivileged children who would otherwise not have access to them. In this program, she goes to child service organizations in her community, such as Girls Inc and Children First, and donates books either for the organization’s personal library or for the children to take home. For fun, Mary Kathryn goes boating with her family, bakes sweets with her friends, and does community performances with Music Compound, getting stage experience in an area that she loves. She hopes to double major in political science and law studies, and plans to eventually obtain her Juris Doctorate in Law and practice business law.
Miss St. Petersburg's Outstanding Teen - Alexis Palacios
Miss Pinellas County-Amanda Kronhaus
Amanda Kronhaus is a 22 year old senior at Oklahoma City University. She will be graduating Magna Cum Laude in May with her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Acting. At OCU she is an active member of Phi Mu Fraternity where she has held the position of Philanthropy Chairwoman and Doorkeeper. She was initiated into Phi Eta Sigma her freshman year and served as their Secretary. Amanda has been acting and singing for as long as she can remember and plans on pursuing a professional performing career after graduation. Her social impact statement is Health for EveryBODY: Promoting Positivity from the Inside Out. Amanda’s goal is to promote the importance of health to combat heart disease and eating disorders. Amanda is so excited to represent Pinellas County this year and is thrilled to be a part of the Miss America Organization.
Kayley is 15 years old and lives in Oviedo, Florida where she is a 10th grade honor roll student at Oviedo High School. She is currently in all honor and AP classes and a member of Beta Club.
She received the Disney Dreamer & Doers award along with the Presidential Points of Light-Gold Award and is a mentor for the Girl Scouts of America, where she started seeking sponsorships for underprivileged girls so that can participate in this wonderful organization.
The Girl Scouts of America is now encouraging early participation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math). Since education is the key to everything, I feel this is the only step in the right direction in early success for young girls.
Kayley loves spending quality time with her family and friends whenever possible and enjoys singing. Kayley was an extra in the movie Tooth Fairy II, the lead guitarist of Matchbox 20 was the original owner of her house and she has duel citizenship with Canada.
Miss St. Petersburg -Taylor Gonzalez
Miss Largo's Outstanding Teen - Mary Kathryn France
Taylor is a 23-year-old student at Pasco-Hernando State College. She is pursuing a degree in English with a specialization in creative writing and plans to minor in theatre. She has been active in the theatre for more than a decade, having played principal roles in over ten musical productions. She is proud to have served as assistant director for Arts in Motion’s recent productions of Peter Pan and Willy Wonka, and looks forward to working in community theatre more in the future. Her performance credits outside the theatre include membership in several wind ensembles as both a trumpet and baritone player.
Taylor has been involved with the Miss America Organization since she became a Sunshine Princess at the age of eleven. Her platform is Know Science, No Stigma: Mental Health Education and Suicide Prevention. Through her platform she travels throughout Central Florida educating students, teachers, and parents about the signs and symptoms of mental illness, and ways to combat the stigma surrounding it. She is excited to serve Saint Petersburg, and cannot wait to represent the Sunshine City at Miss Florida this summer!
Alexis has been a regional and national dance champion since the age of five. She is a member of the National Junior Honor Society, Duke Tip, and People to People International. She is also a Junior Civitan and a Team Tony Mentor. Her platform is “Supporting One Another While a Parent is Battling Breast Cancer”. She volunteers her time with The Florida Cancer Specialist. She visits patients while they are being administered treatment and attends fundraisers to help raise money for Florida Cancer patients. She is a flutist in her school Wind Ensemble band and is currently a model for Oh La La Dancewear. Her goal in life is to obtain a Jurist Doctorate Degree in Law and practice family law.
Payton Barrington is a 21 year old senior at the University of South Florida. She will graduate in May 2019 with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing. In the future, Payton plans to pursue higher education to become a certified registered nurse anesthetist. At the University of South Florida Payton is the vice president of Stampede into Bull Nursing, a mentor club that guides pre-nursing students as they apply to the nursing program. She is also an active member of Delta Gamma Sorority and currently has a 3.8 GPA. Her platform is Kards for Kids. This project was created to give children in the hospital a card, toy, and activity pack to enjoy during their hospital stay. With each activity pack and card Payton hopes that each recipient knows that someone else is thinking about them, it gives them joy, and it facilitates fast healing. Kards for Kids currently delivers cards to three hospitals in the state of Florida and Payton plans to increase that number throughout this year. Payton has been involved in the Miss America Organization for 5 years and has gained incredible scholarship and confidence. She accredits the Miss America Organization for being a vital part in shaping her into the woman she is today. She is incredibly blessed and honored that she has the opportunity to represent Largo this year.
Miss Pinellas County's Outstanding Teen - Kayley Klatt