Alexander High School graduate Fleur Remington (Class of 2013) was crowned Miss New York State in Syracuse on Sunday after winning the Sunburst Beauty Pageant there on Saturday.
The 21-year-old Genesee County native grew up in the Bethany hamlet of Linden and will be attending her second semester at SUNY Brockport this fall, where she will continue her studies as a Biology major, with a minor in Forensic Science.
As pageants go, she's pretty new to the scene. She competed with young women who've been participating in them since kindergarten. Remington's first beauty competition was at age 18 when she was a freshman at Genesee Community College. It was the Miss New York USA Pageant. She won a local title for Sunburst in Watertown in 2014 then tied for fourth place at the Sunburst Miss New York State last year.
Those experiences allowed her to gain some useful experience and knowlege.
In Saturday's pageant, she also won Photogenic categories A and B, Swimwear, Top Model Look and Model Search, and was second runner-up in Casual Wear.
"I cried, to be honest," she said of being named Miss New York State. "It was so surreal for me. I worked so hard and I was competing with girls who've been doing this since age 5. It doesn't feel real yet."
Now that she's won a state crown, she will compete in July for the Florida-based Sunburst Pageant's International crown, which is sort of a misnomer: "It's called the International Pageant, but only girls from the U.S. compete."
When proof of talent is called for, she has the gift of song.
"I can sing," she said. "I've been singing since I took chorus in fourth grade. I was the only soprano to make all-county chorus every year from sixth through 12th grade."
In fact, Remington will perform at a USO show in Rochester on the 4th of July. She hasn't decided what song she'll perform yet.
Her minute in that bit of limelight comes at the behest of beauty pageant maven Mary Therese Friel, a native (born in 1960) and current resident of Pittsford who won the titles Miss New York USA and Miss USA. She later modeled and opened her own agency and now trains pageant participants.
Friel is credited with teaching her about the world of pageants. And Remington's experiences to date have helped her to become, as she puts it, "a professional young woman."
"I represent myself, my hometown, my family, and Genesee County," Remington said. "I want everyone to see me, and them, as part of a great community."
Besides making lasting friendships with her peers, she has gained self confidence by taking part in pageants. She tries her best, she said, and knows that with persistance and work she can achieve her goals.
And when she's ready to start a career, she has known since age 10 what she wants to do -- work in a crime lab. The gross things that those scientists get to study and investigate absolutely fascinate Miss Fleur Remington.