O'Fallon Progress

Miss O’Fallon candidate: Abbey Byrnside

Miss O'Fallon candidate Abbey Byrnside

The Miss O'Fallon Pageant is on Friday, July 28 at the OTHS Milburn Campus.
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The Miss O'Fallon Pageant is on Friday, July 28 at the OTHS Milburn Campus.

Abbey Byrnside is the daughter of Lonnie and Kristine Byrnside. She is 17 years old and will be a senior at O’Fallon Township High School this fall.

Abbey was born in Belleville, but moved to O’Fallon at the age of 3 with her parents and twin brother, Trey. She has attended O’Fallon schools every year since kindergarten and is proud to call O’Fallon her hometown.

As a student, Abbey is dedicated to earning the best education possible and stretches herself every semester by enrolling in honors courses in each core subject. Abbey is a member of the National Honor Society, has a 4.095 cumulative GPA, was named a scholar athlete for the past three years, and is ranked in the top 4 percent of her class.

Abbey’s hard work goes beyond the classroom and is evident in the success she’s achieved in her extra-curricular activities. Abbey is co-captain of the girls varsity tennis team and has been a member of the team since her freshman year. She and her teammates succeeded this past year, placing in conference tournaments, and Abbey personally earned second team doubles and third team singles recognition.

Besides competing on the court, Abbey enjoys the exhilaration of live performance. She has been a member of the O’Fallon music program since freshman year.

Abbey enjoys her choir classes, and will sing in OTHS’s top choir, Chamber Ensemble, this fall. Her dedication was evident to her directors, as she was given the 110% Award. This past year, she also joined the Innovations show choir. Despite being a rookie, she was thrilled to be named Outstanding Performer at the McKendree University competition.

Abbey’s appreciation for the performing arts spreads to theater, as well. She has been cast in two school musicals. However, her first involvement in OTHS activities was actually as a Marching Panther, as she started her high school experience as a member of the color guard. She treasures her memories of attending the Tournament of Roses New Year’s Day Parade in Pasadena, California, as well as performing with the band at national competitions. Her journey comes full circle as she was invited to once again take part in a marching band activity this summer, singing and dancing in the opening number of the St. Louis V.P. Parade held earlier this month. Abbey said she is honored to be part of an organization with such a great reputation.

In her free time, Abbey enjoys volunteering in the community. She shares her passion for tennis by serving as an instructor to children ages 5 to 14 during O’Fallon spring and summer tennis clinics/camps. Abbey hopes her time with the new players not only improves their skills, but helps build their self-confidence, and encourages good sportsmanship.

Abbey is also an OTHS representative for the St. Clair County Youth Board, an organization that participates in many community service projects throughout the year. She has coordinated efforts in sending aid to Fontabella, a home for young mothers, visited with local nursing home residents during the holidays, and brought supplies and care to nearby animal shelters and adoption centers. Abbey feels very blessed with the support the community gives her, and considers it an honor to share her time and energy with those in need.

Upon graduation, Abbey plans to attend a university and study English/secondary education. She hopes to teach high school English, maybe even at O’Fallon Township High School one day. Abbey says that education is the greatest gift she has been given, and in turn, she wants to help students fall in love with learning the way she has.

Finally, if given the privilege to serve as Miss O’Fallon, she hopes to be a positive role model for young girls and embody the spirit of the community.

About the Miss O’Fallon Pageant

Date: Friday, July 28

Place: O’Fallon Township High School Milburn campus auditorium.

Time: Doors will open at 6 p.m., and the pageant will begin at 7 p.m.

Tickets: $8