Shannon Sanderford, Miss Texas 2015, visited Dallas ISD’s George H.W. Bush Elementary School on Thursday, Dec. 3, to emphasize the importance of reading, math and making good choices.
Sanderford used giant Lego blocks – “Legos for Life” – to visually represent how honing each of the three skills can serve as building blocks to success. In talking about each one, Sanderford asked students why would it be important. Many of them showed a career focus even in grades 3-5, providing answers about how each of the three skills will help them in future jobs.
Students taking the STAAR test next week will also use those skills, she said.
At the end of her presentation, Sanderford opened up the floor to student questions. “That’s my favorite part of the day,” she told them.
One student asked if she had ever been bullied in school.
“I was bullied,” she said, but she figured out what she needed to do. “I needed to love who I am, and I needed to find friends who love who I am.”
Further, she said she starting making an effort to befriend others who needed friends.
She said in the past she has been asked what it’s like to be a “beauty queen,” although she said she shies away from that label. Contestants must possess so many skills, from answering rapid-fire questions to demonstrating a special talent, from living a healthy lifestyle to being confident – it’s not only about being pretty.
“You have to be a very well-rounded person to be Miss Texas,” she said. “It took a lot of hard work to get here.”
More hard work is ahead for Sanderford, who earned a journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and plans to pursue a Master’s of Communication at Dallas Baptist University when her schedule permits. She’d like to ultimately have a career in broadcasting.
Principal Shavannia Dash said that by the time Sanderford’s reign ends as Miss Texas, she will have made about 450 public appearances and talked in front of more than 100,000 people collectively. That made Thursday’s stop at Bush a special honor for the school.
Sanderford said her visit to Bush was the only school she’d go to this week, and school visits are among her favorite kinds of appearances.