MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Two women were crowned over the weekend in Martinsburg as part of week-long festivities hosted by the Miss West Virginia organization.

WEPM’s Jordan Nicewarner caught up with newly crowned Miss West Virginia Karrington Childress Saturday night:

“I can’t even put it into words, truthfully,” she said.  “I heard my name called and it still didn’t register and it still isn’t really registering to me right now,” she said, moments after being crowned.  “I’m so excited, and I’m so thankful, and I’m so ready to take this job on.”

She said next up is prepping for Miss America early next year, but for now, “I’m just taking a few minutes to let it sink in and go hug on my family.”
In an earlier interview, Childress talked about her Community Service Initiative (CSI), “Readers are Leaders- Promoting a Passion for Reading in West Virginia.”

“First, I started with my Karrington’s Kids Readers Are Leaders Book Club,” she said.  “Every Sunday, I do a live Sunday story,” she said.  This past Sunday was her first to read aloud as Miss West Virginia.

Childress is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in elementary education at Shepherd University.  “I want to start off in first grade, because that’s the year of literacy.  You take all the good stuff from kindergarten as far as holding the pencil and getting to know the sounds of the letters and taking that into first grade and putting it to use and start reading.”

She may continue her graduate studies at WVU.  Childress says one of the challenges facing educators is catching students up to grade level reading readiness post pandemic.

Miss West Virginia’s Teen Allison Dodson is a a rising senior at Washington High School who is also dual-enrolled at Shepherd University. She plans to major in biochemistry with a minor in cellular and molecular biology.

“My Community Service Initiative is Allison’s Helping Hands HOPE, which stands for Helping Our Planet Earth,” she said in a recent interview on Panhandle Live.  “While I’m teaching kids to be themselves, be confident, and get that reading literacy back, I’m also teaching them to love their planet, to  clean their planet, and to help keep our state beautiful and the way that it is.”

The ladies were crowned Saturday night at the Airborne Church Event Center in Martinsburg.

In a departure from years past, the national competitions for both Miss America and Miss America’s Teen will be held together in January. The location has not been announced.