Wausau native Grace Stanke last week became the third woman from Wisconsin to be crowned Miss America.
Stanke, who represented Wisconsin as Miss Wisconsin at the competition Dec. 15 after a four-day event. Stanke is a graduate of Wausau West and is majoring in nuclear engineering at the University of Wisconsin.
She’s also a classical violinist. Many are crediting her stunning performance on violin during the competition with helping lift her to the top.
Stanke took first over Miss New York, Taryn Delanie Smith, and Miss Texas, Avery Bishop.
Grace Stanke, from Wausau to the national stage
Stanke is the first Wausau native to be crowned Miss America — and one of three from Wisconsin to ever earn the title. She’s also the first nuclear engineering major to ever earn the title.
Stanke won a $50,000 cas scholarship for winning the competition, and won a $5,000 award for her violin performance in the preliminary competition a week ago.
The four-day Miss America competition took place at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
Read next: Central Wisconsin Film connections