Lots of happy tears were evident Sunday as Skylar Witte was crowned Miss Wisconsin USA 2017 in Fond du Lac.
“It was a surreal moment,” the Altoona native said Monday, noting she is still “on cloud nine.”
The title has been a longtime dream for Witte, 19, who grew up in Altoona before moving during high school and graduating in 2015 from D.C. Everest High School in Weston.
Witte attends UW-Madison and is studying political science and communication arts.
“I’m hoping to go to law school,” she said.
On top of college, Witte has a modeling career and has been published in magazines and catalogs as well as on numerous websites, including Seventeen.com. She also works for designer Mac Duggal as a traveling runway model.
“My modeling career has really taught me that you can create your own opportunities as long as you’re ready and willing to work,” she said.
That message of hard work and positivity is one Witte hopes to pass on during her time as Miss Wisconsin USA. It’s also a message that many who know her say Witte lives out on a daily basis.
Colleen Chmelik, one of Witte’s math teachers in Altoona, described her as “the complete package” as a student, noting she never turned in anything late and was willing to do above and beyond what was asked of her.
“She’s just a top notch student and an example of what can happen if you put your mind to doing something and doing it well,” Chmelik said.
Anita Schubring, a family friend and nurse for the Altoona school district, also noted Witte’s work ethic and bubbly personality.
“She has worked so hard, and she’s always been a sweet, outgoing, talkative girl — and very smart,” Schubring said.
Witte said she hopes to debunk any negative misconceptions people may have about pageantry, noting she was honored to share the stage with so many strong and intelligent women during the competition.
“(Pageantry) teaches you so much about yourself, and, again, you get to meet so many extraordinary women,” she said. “And you grow so much.”
About 30 friends and family members were there to support Witte as she was crowned Miss Wisconsin USA. Witte’s mom, Jesica, said she is proud and excited for her daughter.
“It’s hard not to be biased, but she is one of the most positive, gracious and amazing women that I know,” she said. “I think anybody that meets Skylar is drawn in by her smile and personality — and it’s 100 percent real.”
Witte said she’s thankful for the words of encouragement and support from friends in the Chippewa Valley, especially during the competition.
“I just have such a great support system there,” she said. “I think the Chippewa Valley will always have my heart because that’s where I grew up.”
Witte will compete for the title of Miss USA next year during a live national telecast on the Fox network. The winner of that competition will go on to represent the United States in the Miss Universe competition, which is televised in more than 130 countries.
“I’m excited to represent the Chippewa Valley and Wisconsin,” Witte said.
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