Royalty Crowned At Fair

WAPAKONETA — When Kayla Schneider’s name was announced as the 2011 Auglaize County Junior Fair queen, she broke into a subtle smile — later saying all the contestants were deserving.

On Monday, Wapakoneta’s Schneider and St. Marys’ Patrick Schwartz were crowned as royalty over the 159th Auglaize County Junior Fair.

Schwartz said the selection gave him a feeling of accomplishment after being chosen.

“It’s an awesome feeling,” Schwartz said. “I grew up wanting to be selected someday.”

Schwartz has been involved with the fair for 13 years and has won numerous awards showing lambs and steers during his 13 years at the fair as a member of Buckeye Beavers.

He is the son of Ute and Steve Schwartz. He also has an older brother, Christopher.

Schwartz is planning on attending Hocking College, where he plans to earn a degree in natural resources law enforcement.

Schneider, who just recently graduated from Wapakoneta High School, said she just wanted to be a good role model to other kids as the Junior Fair queen.

“I didn’t really feel any different when I was named queen,” Schneider said. “It’s an accomplishment, but there were four other girls just as deserving. We all really deserved it for what we have done. I knew we would have a good choice no matter what so I just figured what happens, happens.”

Schneider has been involved with the fair for eight years and has won numerous awards in showing hogs and non-livestock. She plans on beginning college at Ohio State University-Lima and switching to the main campus in Columbus later on. She plans on earning a degree in speech and hearing science. Her plans are to become a speech therapist.

“Hopefully I will get a job working with schools,” Schneider said.

“I hope that I can be a good role model and encourage other younger children to become junior fair leaders when they get older. Hopefully they will look up to me. It has been a great experience.”

Schneider is the daughter of Julie and Tony Schneider and has two siblings, sister, Kara, and brother, Collin.

Kaitlyn Lehmkuhl, a 13-year member of the Buckeye Beavers, earned first runner-up for Junior Fair queen.

The daughter of Karen and Bill Lehmkuhl attended Minster High School, where she was a member of the marching band, concert band, pep band and flag corp.

She is a member of the National Honor Society.

The other girls in the Junior Fair queen contest were Megan Hardesty, a nine-year member of the 4-H Ambitious Farmers, Katie Shroyer, a 10-year member of the Star Spangled Clover, and Bridget Wessel, a 10-year member of the Auglaize County Horse and Pony Pioneers.

Hardesty is the daughter of Dr. Michelle Michalak and Dr. Mark Hardesty. She attends The Ohio State University and is a graduate of Marion Local High School.

Shroyer is the daughter of Cindy and Andy Shroyer and plans to attend Columbus State  Community College in the fall. She is a graduate of New Knoxville High School.

Wessel is the daughter Chris and Clyde Wessel and plans to attend the University of Northwestern Ohio. She is a graduate of New Knoxville High School.