ADA, Okla. – Second runner up; that was where Miss Oklahoma, Kelsey Griswold ended up in the Miss America pageant this year.
The winner was Miss New York, but NewsChannel 4 has discovered a beautiful twist from this winner that come from Ada.
Turns out the winner actually has a little Oklahoma girl in her.
The subject might have been math; counting change at Ada’s Homer Elementary School. The talk was all history.
Mary Hatcher still teaches the third grade. She had a student in 1996 named Nina Davuluri whose class picture crowded for room in her memory like all the others until she popped up suddenly as Miss New York and then Miss America.
She and her family moved to Ada when she was four. She and her big sister enrolled at Homer in the Byng district. They were here every school day for four years.
J.C. Harris is the pre-k teacher at Homer now, but she was also Nina’s first grade classmate.
The Davuluris moved away after her third grade year. The smart, quiet girl was missed but there was always someone else sitting in her seat.
With the pageant on, very few people recognized Nina from more than fifteen years back. Computer lab teacher Lisa Shores remembered a Nina Davuluri doing an East Indian dance in the talent show.
Turns out that’s what she did for talent to win the Miss America crown.
There are lots of Miss America winners who’ve come from Oklahoma. Homer Elementary teachers are pointing to one girl who stopped for a while; longer than at any other school, to learn a few things.
They’re telling all this year’s kids, ‘you never know.’ One day the whole school might be talking about them too.
Nina’s father was a doctor at the Carl Albert Indian Clinic during the years they lived in Ada. The Davuluri’s moved onto Michigan, then Fayetteville, and then onto New York.
Former teachers are hoping they can get Miss America back to their school sometime during her year long reign.