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New state Czech queen crowned

POSTED: August 28, 2013 7:00 a.m.
Alan Rusch/

Jessie Brockway of Salina, second from the right, was crowned the 2013 Miss Kansas Czech-Slovak Queen during a brief ceremony Saturday morning at the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Ellsworth. With Brockway are Anna Hand, second from the left, the 2012 Miss Kansas Czech-Slovak Queen and 2013 Miss Czech-Slovak USA; Sara Vytlacil, right, the 2013 Miss Kansas Czech-Slovak first runner-up; and Nichole Pacey, left, the 2013 Miss Kansas Czech-Slovak second runner-up.

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Jessie Brockway of Salina was crowned the new 2013 Miss
 Kansas Czech-Slovak Queen during a brief ceremony Saturday morning at the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Ellsworth.
Brockway, who won first runner-up in the 2013 Miss Kansas Czech-Slovak Queen Pageant conducted in July during the After Harvest Czech Festival in Wilson, became the new Kansas Czech-Slovak Queen after Allison Ens of Olathe, the reigning Miss Kansas Czech-Slovak Queen, resigned her crown.
“I’m very excited to represent Kansas,” Brockway said.
Brockway, the daughter of Troy and Kathy Brockway of Salina, said during her year as Miss Kansas Czech-Slovak Queen she intends to host a heritage blog.
“People look at heritage as kind of a stagnant, stale thing — and it’s not,” she said. “It can be shared in a modern way, I think, and I just want to reach as many people as I can and get them interested in where they come from, because there are some really good stories about our ancestors. I think it’s good to know where you come from.”
Brockway will be a sophomore this fall at Kansas State University in Manhattan majoring in biochemestry with an emphasis on pre-pharmacy.
“I hope that the University of Kansas pharmacy school accepts me, because I want to work in a hospital as a pharmacist.”
 Sara Vytlacil of Belleville, who was named second runner-up at the 2013 Miss Kansas Czech-Slovak Queen Pageant, is now first runner-up and  Nichole Pacey of Wilson is the second runner-up.
“Jessie deserves it,” said Lynn Kasper of Wilson, long-time coordinator of the Miss Kansas Czech-Slovak Queen Pageant. “We followed the procedure that we have in place that the national pageant has, and this is the way it should be. I’m very proud of Jessie.”
Kasper said she received an e-mail from Ens Aug. 4 stating she intended to resign her crown.
“Her concern was going to school in California, and that it would be too much work to be back here in Kansas,” Kasper said.
The news came the same day as Ellsworth’s Anna Hand was crowned the 2013 Miss Czech-Slovak USA queen in Wilber, Neb. This is the third consecutive year Kansas has taken the national title.
Brockway will compete at Wilber a year from now.
Kasper noted all girls who compete for the  Miss Kansas Czech-Slovak Queen title sign an agreement stating they will make at least four appearances in the course of a year for the City of Wilson Czech Festival, that they will promote the festival, and that they will come back and work the festival.
“Allison did not think she could fulfill that,” Kasper said. “The thing I have to give Allison credit for is that she did it early in her reign. This way, we still have plenty of time to go over everything with Jessie and get her ready for nationals next year in August.”
Attempts by the Independent-Reporter to contact Ens for comment were unsuccessful.

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