Local third grader goes to national pageant

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Lynnleigh was crowned Miss Tennessee Elementary Third Grade America 2021 by her former sister queen Desireé Dyson, Miss Tennessee Collegiate America 2020 and Carlisle Peery, the new Miss Kindergarten Elementary America 2020.

For most competitors, they cannot say that they have won a state competition in their first year of competing. On top of that, even less of them continue on and rank nationally.
But local elementary student Lynnleigh Cooper won the Miss Tennessee Elementary America Pageant for third grade this year. The win advances her to nationals that will be held June 20-25 of 2021 in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Her first pageant was during last year’s pageant season in which she won the second-grade level of the Miss Tennessee Elementary America Pageant. At nationals, she received third runner-up.
Her mom Jessi Cooper could not have been more proud and surprised at the success Lynnleigh had.
“We cried. We couldn’t be more proud of her,” Jessi said. “We were there just for her to have a great experience, and for her to get third runner-up across the nation was more than we could have ever asked for. We were over the moon about it.”
Now that Lynnleigh has won the state competition again, she has put herself in the position to possibly do even better this year.
“I would love that,” Jessi said. “Even to place in the top 10 again, we would be happy.”
Win or lose, Jessi loves how the pageants have gave her daughter the chance to share kindness and do community service.
“I’ve enjoyed watching her be able to help others and seeing that joy it brings her,” she said. “I try to raise my kids with kindness and and to see that flourishing, especially in kind of environment, especially with everything that has gone on this past year…. To be able to see that grow in her has been a really beautiful thing.”
Lynnleigh explained how much pageants means to her as they continue to positively impact her life.
“This pageant is important to me because I love to encourage kids to not bully and do community service with other people and meet new people and it helped me come out of my shell, because I’m really shy and it helps build my confidence a lot.”
Most of all, she loved to represent Henderson in the last national pageant and looks forward to it again.
“I loved nationals, because I got to meet new friends, I got to represent our state of Tennessee and especially I love I represented our little hometown of Henderson.”

Lynnleigh held up Kindness signs in downtown on Main St. before school one day last November. She smiled and waved in order to spread kindness for World Kindness Day.