Elena Burton named 2019 Cleveland DYW

By CHRISTY ARMSTRONG

Posted 2/7/18

Elena Burton has been named the 2019 Distinguished Young Woman of Cleveland, and will go on to compete for the state title this summer. The local DYW competition, sponsored by the Pilot Club of …

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Elena Burton named 2019 Cleveland DYW

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Elena Burton has been named the 2019 Distinguished Young Woman of Cleveland, and will go on to compete for the state title this summer. 

The local DYW competition, sponsored by the Pilot Club of Cleveland, was held Saturday night at Cleveland State Community College. Fourteen local high school juniors vied for the title. 

“This experience has been amazing,” Burton said. “I am so excited to have been chosen to represent Cleveland in this way.” 

Burton is a student at Cleveland High School and is the daughter of Joe and Cathy Burton.  

The first runner-up was Emma Brannen, a Cleveland High Schook student and the daughter of Stephen and Rachel Brannen. The second runner-up, Maddie Dill, is a student at Walker Valley High School and is the daughter of Stacey and Stacy Dill. 

Distinguished Young Women is a scholarship competition for high school girls which occurs on the local, state and national levels. Girls advance based on how they do in the following categories: Scholastics (25 percent), Interview (25 percent), Talent (20 percent), Fitness (15 percent), and Self-Expression (15 percent). 

Having already been judged on the Scholastics and Interview portions, the night’s festivities included displays of Talent, Fitness and Self-Expression. 

Burton won the Talent and Fitness categories, which helped lead to her overall win. The talent she presented was a contemporary dance. 

In addition to being named the second runner-up, Dill also won the Interview portion. Other victors included Spirit Award winner Lauren Goldston, Self-Expression category winner Mary Beth Canida and Scholastics category winner  Gracie Medley. 

As the overall winner, Burton is receiving a $2,000 scholarship. Runner-up Brannen was to receive $1,000, and second runner-up Dill was set to receive $500. The winner of the Scholastic category, Medley, also received a $300 scholarship. 

Though only one girl received the Distinguished Young Woman title, Debbie Williams, who organized the local event, said all the competitors did well. 

“I am extremely proud of them,” Williams said. “They worked hard, and I thought they showed poise and composure beyond their years.” 

Burton will go on to compete in the 2019 Distinguished Young Women of Tennessee competition, which will be held in Cleveland this summer. 

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