Local School Teacher Gets Mrs. W.Va America Win
Melissa Smith is well-known and loved by much of the local community, being honored and remembered as a wonderful first grade teacher at Arthur I. Boreman Elementary School and a prominent pageant queen. Smith began competing early in life and has appeared in many pageants, winning the title of Miss WV Oil and Gas Queen, Tyler County Fair Queen, Miss WV Teen USA, and most notably Mrs. WV United States as well as various other titles during this time frame. In her most recent victory – after competing in the Mrs. WV America Pageant – Smith was crowned as Mrs. West Virginia America.
This pageant was the first competition Smith had involved herself in since she had major medical issues that resulted in a traumatic brain injury in 2014. This injury stemmed from complications from an epidural administered while giving birth to her youngest son. The brain injury was so severe that Smith was forced to undergo three brain surgeries.
Smith explained she decided to begin competing again as she carried a desire to share her story with others and to inspire individuals to overcome any obstacles in their path. She described the process of re-orienting herself with pageants as difficult. As a result of the life-changing brain injury she sustained, Smith said she obtained a whole new perspective on life. Preparing for the competition took a lot, Smith said, and she is thankful for the help and support garnered from her husband, mother, children, students, coworkers, and sponsors.
In regards to her recent crowning, Smith said the pageant was enjoyable. She competed with 10 other women, who she was able to meet at a dinner held for contestants and their husbands. During the competition, Smith had an interview with the judges, appeared in an evening gown, one-piece swimsuit, and participated in an on-stage question.
By participating in the various pageants over the years, Smith explained she has learned that it’s okay to focus on yourself. These events have opened her eyes to the fact that while giving of one’s time and talents is important to everyday life, it should not be at one’s own expense.
Smith explained that when one focuses on themselves and becoming the best person they can possibly be, those around will benefit from it. She said a person being happy and healthy allows them to be a positive influence to those they come into contact with. Smith expressed by focusing on herself, it enables her to be the best wife, mother, teacher, and friend she can be. In this aspect, pageants have been an eye-opening experience for her.
Another experience Smith described as life-changing was the brain injury she sustained. She said her whole perspective on life changed as a result. It was because it was such a large obstacle to overcome that Smith desires to be a living example to others that overcoming something is not merely a dream, but a possibility. She encourages all to look past their circumstances and strive for their dreams, as she did when overcoming her injury.
While overcoming this injury wasn’t easy to do, she had support from many people in her life. Smith thanks and credits her family, friends, sponsors, and all the people who prayed for her.
“Thank you for the continued support through the good times and the bad. I look forward to giving back to West Virginia through the next year.” Smith said.