The title is part of the Miss America Scholarship Organization, which meant she was able to compete for the Miss Maryland title in June.
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Karroll has balanced her time as a teacher at Broadfording Christian Academy in Hagerstown while also making appearances as part of her duties connected to her title. The new Miss Smithsburg will be crowned Saturday, March 23, at Smithsburg High School.
In November, Karroll made an appearance in the Harvest Fest at Ruth Anne Munroe Primary School in Hagerstown. She took a few minutes to talk with Pulse, The Herald-Mail's teen broadcast journalism program, about her time as Miss Smithsburg.
How did it feel to be the first ever Miss Smithsburg?
It feels absolutely incredible. I was raised in Smithsburg; I graduated from Smithsburg High School in 2007. It's an absolute honor to be able to represent the community that I've grown up in and that I'm familiar with.
Why did you decide to start competing?
For me, there are two aspects of the Miss America organization that I really appreciate, and that's definitely the scholarship and the service aspects of it. So not only do I have the opportunity to go out and serve my community, but I also earn scholarship money. Which is amazing for me being a college graduate and being in debt, so I love having the scholarship money but I also love being able to serve the community at the same time.
What is your platform?
My platform is the TIARA Project, which stands for "Teens In Abusive Relationships Awareness." Growing up, I had lots of friends who had experienced teenage relationship abuse. Now that I'm a high school teacher I realize that it is something that's very prevalent in our society, and definitely needs a lot of attention, too. It's something I feel incredibly passionate about, and feel like it's something more Washington County teens need to be aware of.
How was your experience competing for Miss Maryland in June?
It was wonderful; we had an incredible week here in Hagerstown. I got to meet 20 of Maryland's finest women, and made some friends in the process. I would definitely have to say that the highlight of my week was touring the Volvo (Powertrain) plant in Hagerstown. We had the opportunity to drive the tractor trailers. Not only did they tell me I was the worst driver ever, they told me to "never ever get behind the wheel of a tractor trailer, you will endanger others." So out of 23 girls, I am the worst truck driver, but overall, it was a really incredible week.
Did you always want to be a teacher?
I did, actually. In college, I went back and forth with a couple other careers; I changed my major five times in the process. But I started in education and I finished in education. So for me, it's very fulfilling to be a teacher, and I feel I have finally reached my calling.
What were some of the majors you switched to in between education?
I switched from biology, political science, international relations, and then back to education and French. My major was French with a double minor and education and history.
Where do you teach? What subject?
I teach at Broadfording Christian Academy in Hagerstown. I teach ninth through 12th grade English, in addition to a course called "Reality in the News."
What kind of role model do you think being crowned Miss Smithsburg makes you to younger students?
I definitely think that having a role model that's local in your community to look up to is great for young girls in our community. Not only do they get to watch "Miss America" on TV, they get to experience a "Miss America" role model here at home. I think it's very good for them to be able to associate that on a down-home level.
What do you consider to be your most memorable appearance?
My most memorable appearance would have to be Pitch for Mitch that was at the Hagerstown Suns' stadium. I'm not sure if you're familiar with Mitchell Akers. He was an 18-year-old senior at Smithsburg High School last year. (He) passed away (after an) accident at the Suns' stadium. He was my brother's best friend and a very close friend to the family. I had the honor to be able to sing the National Anthem at that game for him and I got to represent Smithsburg and the community. It was just an amazing event. That has probably, by far, been one of the most amazing appearances I had. However, I've had many other appearances through the year that I really got to get back and serve the community. I've had a great year.
Are you hoping to run for another county title?
I haven't quite thought about that yet. This would be my last year of competition if I do, but as of right now I have no decision on whether I would continue or not.
Being the first-ever Miss Smithsburg, what precedent do you think you're setting for future winners?
I think they are definitely going to realize it's going to be a lot of commitment. And it is definitely serving the community. A lot of girls think that being a beauty queen is all about being onstage and all about themselves, when in reality it's all about others. That's the purpose of the organization — to serve the community. So I hope the next Miss Smithsburg really embraces that and embraces the fact that she is a role model and she is expected to serve her community.
Evan Torres is a member of Pulse. He is a sophomore at Williamsport High School.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer
Lindsay Karroll reads to elementary school children as part of her reign as Miss Smithsburg.