South Point senior brings homecoming crown back to family

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 28, 2003

It meant much more than simply winning a crown.

Ayrie Miranda Smith realized a life-long dream last fall when she became South Point High School's Homecoming Queen.

Her dream has become even sweeter because she was recently invited to compete in April's state finals of the 23rd annual America's Homecoming Queen pageant in Columbus.

Email newsletter signup

"I wanted to be homecoming queen since I was in 3rd grade," the 18-year-old senior said. "My grandmother was queen in 1951 at Pedro and my mom Kathy was queen in 1971 -1972 at South Point."

Kathy Smith said that it is amazing because Ayrie had made up her mind at such a young age.

"She said, 'Mom, what does it take to be homecoming queen,' and I told her to just always be herself and love everybody," Kathy Smith said. "Every mother would be proud to have a daughter like her."

Ayrie said she could hardly describe her emotions when she heard her name called at the homecoming football game.

"I was so happy I started crying because it was like a dream come true, because I set the goal when I was so young," she said.

Not only her mother been a huge influence in her life but Smith plans to follow in her father Randy's footsteps and become a special education teacher.

Randy Smith said that Ayrie has always been a great kid and they could not be more proud of all of her achievements.

"She has always been involved with the community, from Special Olympics to donating her time to help people" he said. "She is pretty well friends with everybody."

During her high school career Smith has participated in numerous clubs including the pep club, French club, drama club,student council, sunrise club and the Lawrence County Pride Team, a drug and alcohol free program that tries to educate younger students.

"I try to get involved in everything," she said. "I have always been that way. I even played football in middle school."

Ayrie plans to attend Ohio University Southern and transfer to the University of Tennessee.

Peggy Lee Hester, executive director of the America's Homecoming Queen organization, said the competition is not a beauty pageant because it focuses more on the girls' character, personality and community involvement.

Smith agrees. "I do not think of it as a pageant but more as a representation of what you have been involved in during high school," she said. "That is why I am excited to do it."

Hester said the competition provides an opportunity to compete for scholarships and build lasting friendships. Typically, the organization receives more than 500 applications from Ohio and invites 50 or 60 girls based on their applications.

Ironton High School senior Ashley Neal will join Smith in the competition. The winner will represent Ohio in the national finals in Washington D.C. later this year.

To help with the $400 entry fee for the pageant, Smith hopes to get her boss at the Snak Shak and other South Point businesses to sponsor her.

Anyone wishing to help sponsor her entry fee can contact the school.