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Miss Vermont USA and Teen USA Titleholder History

Your ultimate Miss USA state pageant resource

Take a trip back into the history of the Miss Vermont USA and Teen USA pageants, from the first winner to the most recent. Get to know every single Miss and Teen titleholder with a full listing, hometown map and extensive photo archive, with state pageant photos, Miss USA and Teen USA competition photos and more.

Miss USA 1955 Carlene King Johnson visits a firehouse
Miss USA 1955 Carlene King Johnson visits a firehouse

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A guide to the state titleholder listings...

Miss Vermont USA and Teen USA Titleholder History

Miss Vermont shrinks from Mink

What was all over the headlines at Miss USA 1956? “Miss Vermont Does Not Like Live Minks”, “Miss Vermont says only raises mink, does not wear them”, “Miss Vermont takes dim view of mink” “Miss Vermont has high regard for minks her family owns” “Miss Vermont Cold to Mink”, and my personal favourite “Miss Vermont, Up from Farm, Is Sure Mink Hath No Charm” … Dolores Wettack indeed grew up on a mink farm and newspaper editors were having a field day with it.

Miss America crossovers

Both Miss Vermont USA 1959 Sandra Laquerre and Miss Vermont USA 1960 Carole Demas were runners-up at Miss Vermont (America) 1960 – waiting to give up your title wasn’t an issue back then!

Carole Demas – who was also first runner-up at Miss Vermont (America) 1959 – later went on to a successful Broadway role as “Louisa (The Girl)” in The Fantasticks before starring as Sandy in the original Broadway production of Grease.

Ski Bunnies

The 1968-1970 pageants were held at the Mount Snow ski resort – with the winners receiving a season ski pass, free skis and ski apparel, a uniquely Vermonty prize package. 1970 winner Cindy Jurewicz was from New Jersey but representing Mount Snow (where she worked) in the competition – runners-up that year included “Miss Student Ski Association”, “Miss Haystack Ski School” and “Miss Okemo Ski Area”!

“Hitch-Hiking Hippie Enters Miss USA Contest Ski-Selling”

One of my all-time favourite headlines of any pageant-related article has to be this one about Miss Vermont USA 1968 Susan Glynn, a self-proclaimed hippie, hitchiker and snow bunny who brought her guitar to Miss USA. You can read the rest in the “News Clippings” section in the photo galleries below. While there were separate photos of her strumming for some fellow contestants, sadly the main articles about her weren’t matched with photos, a lost opportunity if you ask me.

Green Mountain takeover

In the 1970s four consecutive Vermont winners were out-of-state students at Green Mountain College in Poultney. 1972 winner Stacey Becker and 1973 winner Bonnie Height were both originally from New Jersey – Bonnie helped tend horses for a trainer at Monmouth Park – and their back-to-back Miss Amity (Congeniality) winners Donna Thornton (1974) and Constance Crabtree (1975) were both from Connecticut. In the 1973 pageant seven of the ten contestants were from Green Mountain College as were all five finalists in 1975 (no word on how many among the 22 contestants). Ironically the 1976 winner Susan Parsons was a native of Poultney who attended the University of Vermont.

The Most Congenial State

Vermont has won five Miss Congeniality awards (or Miss Amity, as it was known in the early days), more than any other state – and has many Congeniality awards as they do placements. Four of the five came in a 10 year period between 1969 and 1978, including back-to-back awards in 1974. The first was Mary Verdiani in 1969. She also finished first runner-up in the pageant, Vermont’s second highest placement and their most recent top five finish. The most recent Congeniality winner was the gorgeous Michelle Fongemie in 2004 – I had the pleasure of sharing a room with her when I attended Miss USA 2012 in Vegas!

Sister Act

In 2022 Kelsey and Kenzie Golonka became the first sisters to win a state’s Teen and Miss titles in the same year! Kelsey was previously Miss Vermont Teen USA 2017 herself and is the first Vermonter to place in both pageants. In making the top 12 at Miss USA 2022 she broke Vermont’s 30 year non-placement streak. Kenzie wore Kelsey’s Miss Teen USA gown (minus the train) to win the Miss VT Teen USA title.

Vermont directors

The pageant is currently directed by Glenn Brown of GDB Pageant Productions. Past directors of the Miss Vermont USA and Teen USA pageants have included:

  • Christy Beltrami, Miss Vermont Teen USA 1987 & Miss Vermont USA 1994, and her husband who took over the franchise from 1998-2001.
  • Michael Galanes, 2001-2007
  • Laurie Clemente and Clemente Productions, 2007-2010
  • Randy Sanders and Pageant Associates, 2010-2017

Miss USA and Miss Teen USA titleholders from Vermont

MISS USA 1955

Carlene King Johnson

22 • Rutland

Semi-finalist
at Miss Universe

MISS TEEN USA 1993

Charlotte Lopez

16 • Dorset

 

Miss Vermont USA titleholders 1952-2022

Recent titleholders

2019
Vermont USA icon 2019
Bethany Garrow

20 • Rutland

 
 

2020
Vermont USA icon 2020
Shannah Weller

24 • Middlebury

 
 

2021
Vermont USA icon 2021
Joanna Nagle

27 • Colchester

 
 

2022
Vermont USA icon 2022
Kelsey Golonka

23 • Montpelier

Top 12
at Miss USA 2022

2023
Vermont USA icon 2023
Jenna Howlett

21 • Bridport

 
 

Placements and Awards Summary

Placements

Winner

Carlene King Johnson (1955)

1st runner-up

Mary Verdiani (1969)

Semi-finalist

Sandra Taft (1971), Georgia Marie Davis (1982)

Top 8/10/11/12*

* Where the semi-finalists are cut in multiple stages before the top 5 or 6

Awards

Congeniality

Mary Verdiani (1969), Donna Thornton (1974), Constance “Pinky” Crabtree (1975), Nancy Wierzbicki (1978), Michelle Fongemie (2004)

Full Titleholder Listing

IMAGEYEARNAMEHOMETOWNAGEPLACEMENTAWARDNOTES
2023Jenna Howlett*Bridport20Previously Miss VT Teen USA 2019
2022Kelsey Golonka*Montpelier23Top 12Previously Miss VT Teen USA 2017 (SF Miss Teen USA); sister of Miss VT Teen USA 2022
2021Joanna NagleColchester27
2020Shannah WellerMiddlebury24
2019Bethany GarrowRutland20
2018Maia-Jena AlloColchester20
2017Madison Cota*Bellows Falls21Previously Miss VT Teen USA 2014
2016Neely FortuneBurlington24
2015Jackie CroftBurlington24
2014Gina BernasconiColchester19
2013Sarah WestbrookBurlington25
2012Jamie DragonStowe26
2011Lauren CarterBurlington21
2010Nydelis OrtizEssex20
2009Brooke WernerGranville22
2008Kim TantlingerBurlington22
2007Jessica ComolliMontpelier22
2006Amanda GilmanDanville20
2005Amanda MitteerBrattleboro26
2004Michelle FongemieWilliston26Congeniality
2003Jennifer Ripley*Burlington20Previously Miss VT Teen USA 1999
2002Brooke AngusEssex20
2001Katy Johnson^Brattleboro23Previously Miss VT 1999
2000Katie BoltonColchester22
1999Nicole LewisWindsor22
1998Catherine Bliss*BurlingtonPreviously Miss NY Teen USA 1990
1997Lisa Jean CostantinoBurlington
1996Nancy Anne RobertsMiddlebury
1995Jennifer CazeaultWinooski
1994Christy Ann Beltrami*WillistonPreviously Miss VT Teen USA 1987
1993Jodi SicelyBurlington
1992Bonnie KittridgeBurlington
1991Margaret CoreyBrattleboro
1990Stephanie BesseyChester
1989Stacey PalmerBurlington
1988Stacy SissonRutland
1987Carole WoodworthNorth Bennington
1986Tracey D. MortonRutland
1985Angie CumminghamRutland
1984Sue O'BrienWaterbury Center
1983Leslie LucchinaBarre
1982Georgia Marie DavisBenningtonSemi-finalist
1981Jeannette WulffMontpelier
1980Judiwynne MasonRandolph
1979Katherine Rechsteiner^Sugar Busch ValleyPreviously Miss VT 1975
1978Nancy WierzbickiRutlandCongeniality
1977Anne KentCastleton
1976Susan ParsonsPoultney
1975Constance "Pinky" CrabtreePoultneyCongeniality
1974Donna ThorntonPoultnerCongeniality
1973Bonnie HeightPoultney
1972Stacey BeckerPoultney
1971Sandra TaftWest DoverSemi-finalist
1970Cynthia JurewiczWest Dover
1969Mary VerdianiMontpelier191st runner-upCongeniality
1968Susan GlynnMt. Snow25
1967Elaine FarrellBurlington
1966Peggy EckertWest Burke
1965Andrea KenyonNorth Bennington
1964Freda Elaine BettsBennington
1963Ellen "Bunny" CenterbarNorth Bennington
1962Barbara Ann "Bobby" KearneySpringfield
1961Susan NielsonPoultney
1960Carole DemasBurlington
1959Sandra LaquerreBarre
1958Doreen McNameeBrattleboro20
1957Marjorie LinkEast Harwick
1956Dolores WettackWestminster
1955CARLENE KING JOHNSON^Rutland22Miss USASF Miss Universe 1955; previously Miss VT 1953
1954Georgia Lauriso24
1953Kathleen Surrel22
1952Elizabeth WhitcombEssex Junction
YEARNAMEHOMETOWNAGEPLACEMENTAWARDNOTES
2023Jenna Howlett*Bridport20Previously Miss VT Teen USA 2019
2022Kelsey Golonka*Montpelier23Top 12Previously Miss VT Teen USA 2017 (SF Miss Teen USA); sister of Miss VT Teen USA 2022
2021Joanna NagleColchester27
2020Shannah WellerMiddlebury24
2019Bethany GarrowRutland20
2018Maia-Jena AlloColchester20
2017Madison Cota*Bellows Falls21Previously Miss VT Teen USA 2014
2016Neely FortuneBurlington24
2015Jackie CroftBurlington24
2014Gina BernasconiColchester19
2013Sarah WestbrookBurlington25
2012Jamie DragonStowe26
2011Lauren CarterBurlington21
2010Nydelis OrtizEssex20
2009Brooke WernerGranville22
2008Kim TantlingerBurlington22
2007Jessica ComolliMontpelier22
2006Amanda GilmanDanville20
2005Amanda MitteerBrattleboro26
2004Michelle FongemieWilliston26Congeniality
2003Jennifer Ripley*Burlington20Previously Miss VT Teen USA 1999
2002Brooke AngusEssex20
2001Katy Johnson^Brattleboro23Previously Miss VT 1999
2000Katie BoltonColchester22
1999Nicole LewisWindsor22
1998Catherine Bliss*BurlingtonPreviously Miss NY Teen USA 1990
1997Lisa Jean CostantinoBurlington
1996Nancy Anne RobertsMiddlebury
1995Jennifer CazeaultWinooski
1994Christy Ann Beltrami*WillistonPreviously Miss VT Teen USA 1987
1993Jodi SicelyBurlington
1992Bonnie KittridgeBurlington
1991Margaret CoreyBrattleboro
1990Stephanie BesseyChester
1989Stacey PalmerBurlington
1988Stacy SissonRutland
1987Carole WoodworthNorth Bennington
1986Tracey D. MortonRutland
1985Angie CumminghamRutland
1984Sue O'BrienWaterbury Center
1983Leslie LucchinaBarre
1982Georgia Marie DavisBenningtonSemi-finalist
1981Jeannette WulffMontpelier
1980Judiwynne MasonRandolph
1979Katherine Rechsteiner^Sugar Busch ValleyPreviously Miss VT 1975
1978Nancy WierzbickiRutlandCongeniality
1977Anne KentCastleton
1976Susan ParsonsPoultney
1975Constance "Pinky" CrabtreePoultneyCongeniality
1974Donna ThorntonPoultnerCongeniality
1973Bonnie HeightPoultney
1972Stacey BeckerPoultney
1971Sandra TaftWest DoverSemi-finalist
1970Cynthia JurewiczWest Dover
1969Mary VerdianiMontpelier191st runner-upCongeniality
1968Susan GlynnMt. Snow25
1967Elaine FarrellBurlington
1966Peggy EckertWest Burke
1965Andrea KenyonNorth Bennington
1964Freda Elaine BettsBennington
1963Ellen "Bunny" CenterbarNorth Bennington
1962Barbara Ann "Bobby" KearneySpringfield
1961Susan NielsonPoultney
1960Carole DemasBurlington
1959Sandra LaquerreBarre
1958Doreen McNameeBrattleboro20
1957Marjorie LinkEast Harwick
1956Dolores WettackWestminster
1955CARLENE KING JOHNSON^Rutland22Miss USASF Miss Universe 1955; previously Miss VT 1953
1954Georgia Lauriso24
1953Kathleen Surrel22
1952Elizabeth WhitcombEssex Junction

State and Miss USA Photo Album