Miss Hawkeye excited about state fair opportunity


CUTLINE: Kayleigh and sister photo: Kayleigh Koch (right) poses for a picture with her older sister Stephanie after being selected as Fayette County Fair Queen for 2013. Kayleigh will be relying on advice from family members and friends as she prepares to represent Fayette County at the Iowa State Fair Aug. 6-10. 




Miss Hawkeye excited about state fair opportunity

By Brian Smith
Contributing Writer

When Kayleigh Koch of Hawkeye heard her name announced as the new Fayette County Fair Queen for 2013, she was overwhelmed with excitement and surprise. Though she didn’t expect to receive the honor, she plans to make the most of it as she prepares to represent Fayette County at the 2013 Iowa State Fair.

“All of the other candidates would make a great Fayette County Fair Queen also. I feel honored to have been chosen as the representative of Fayette County,” said Koch, who will be a senior at North Fayette Valley High School this fall.

Preparing for the competition at the Iowa State Fair August 6-10 is an exercise in organization for Kayleigh. She has had to shop, pack, complete a resume, and arrange numerous other details over a two-day period before leaving on a planned vacation with her family. Upon her return, it will be time to go to Des Moines and begin the competition.

Kayleigh has received some pointers about what the state level competition is like from last year’s fair queen, Kayla Lueder.

“She gave me some great advice that I think will be very helpful to me in preparing for and participating in the competition,” stated Kayleigh.

In Des Moines, each queen is interviewed three times. The only interview that Kayleigh can really prepare for is the individual interview, in which she will be asked a set of predetermined personal questions. The other interviews consist of another one-minute personal interview and a group interview with the other county fair queens.

Although winning the competition is something that would make Kayleigh extremely proud, she realizes she has gained a great deal from the experiences that she has already had.

“Experience is the best way to learn, and I have been provided with that through the privilege of running for Fayette County Fair Queen and now Iowa State Fair Queen. I have gained a lot of skills along the way, and it’s become a little less nerve-racking over time,” explained the Iowa State Fair Queen candidate.

Kayleigh also realizes that it is not just the experience and skills that she has gained. She has received an opportunity to “pay it forward” by doing as much as she can as Fayette County Fair Queen for the people who have helped her in reaching this point in her life.

When asked who those people are, Kayleigh has a long list. Her parents, Dwane and Roni Sue Koch, have been very important to her.

“My dad has helped me prepare for the interviews, and my mom keeps me organized and makes sure that I look appropriate at the competitions. I couldn’t ask for better parents!” Koch exclaimed.

In addition to her parents, her sisters Stephanie and Tiffanie have also been very supportive of her. Stephanie has proven to be instrumental in making sure Kayleigh has things to wear, and Tiffanie has always been there to wish her sister good luck or ask how her day went. Kayleigh feels blessed to have such a wonderful family, including her grandparents Ron and Joyce Parmley and Jim and LaVonne Koch, who have attended all of her competitions thus far and offered her many words of encouragement.

Kayleigh is also grateful to the businesses in Hawkeye, and especially Keith Kovarik, for sponsoring her as Miss Hawkeye during the Fayette County Fair Queen competition. Ryan Holthaus, her FFA advisor and teacher, has also been valuable to her as a mentor and in helping her realize her potential. The local teenager would also like to thank all the teachers, peers, family members, and friends that have supported her throughout this experience. She looks forward to opportunities to serve them and the community while fulfilling her role as Fayette County Fair Queen in the year to come.

“Throughout the coming year I will be representing the county by visiting each town at different events. I am more than happy to help any organization or business with any special event or dinner they might like help with,” related Koch.

When next summer rolls around, Kayleigh will return to the Fayette County Fair and do her part in helping with the festivities as much as possible before the next fair queen is selected.

As she contemplates her current situation prior to the Iowa State Fair Queen competition, she is filled with excitement and anticipation.

“I feel that I am prepared to do my best in Des Moines, and I am looking forward to a new and exciting opportunity!” said the reigning Fayette County Fair Queen.

The Iowa State Fair Queen is scheduled to be crowned on the Anne and Bill Riley Stage at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10.




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