Oconto County woman concludes Miss Green Bay Area reign

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Appleton woman claims 2018 title

Tess Merie Buege, Miss Green Bay Area 2017, points to the Meyer Theatre’s marquee that shows her victory photo taken at last year’s Miss Green Bay Area pageant. (Contributed photo)

GREEN BAY — The age-old saying says “all good things must come to an end.” That was the case for an Oconto County woman who concluded her year-long reign as Miss Green Bay Area 2017 last weekend.

Tess Merie Buege, 22, of Spruce, was selected as Miss Green Bay Area 2017 during her second attempt at the title last January, edging out seven other women for the win. She was a non-finalist in the 2016 pageant competition.

For Buege, a 2012 Oconto Falls High School graduate who performed a mathematics demonstration for her talent, it was a memorable year full of new adventures and meeting people in northeastern Wisconsin.

A highlight of Buege’s reign was competing in the 2017 Miss Wisconsin pageant last June in Oshkosh, where she did not place among the pageant’s semi-finalists. However, she won a $250 scholarship as the winner of the STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics prize, which recognizes a contestant who excels in one of those fields. The award had no bearing on the actual pageant judging.

Buege, a May 2016 University of Wisconsin-Platteville graduate with a degree in environmental engineering, was the vice president of the Future Business Leaders of America chapter when she attended Oconto Falls High School. She is the daughter of Paige and Brian Buege in rural Spruce. She was the first Oconto County woman to compete in the Miss Wisconsin pageant since 1999, when Kristin Robbie Tielens of Oconto was a state pageant entrant.

Winning the 2018 Miss Green Bay Area pageant was Katrina Mazier, 19, of Appleton, who edged four other contestants.

Currently a communications sophomore at UW-Oshkosh, Mazier was one of the semi-finalists in the 2016 Miss Wisconsin pageant with lyrical dance talent. She had competed as Miss Fond du Lac, a title she won at age 17.

Mazier, a 2016 graduate of Xavier High School in Appleton, will make a second attempt at the state title when she competes in the 2018 Miss Wisconsin pageant at Oshkosh West High School in Oshkosh in June.

Placing first runner-up to Mazier at the Jan. 20 pageant held at the Meyer Theatre in downtown Green Bay was Paige Elizabeth Kassner, 19, of Kewaunee, a four-time Miss Wisconsin’s Outstanding Teen entrant. Last year’s first runner-up and returning 2016 entrant Anna Marie Katner, 22, of Plover, a senior at the UW-Green Bay, was second runner-up.

The remaining contestants in the 2018 Miss Green Bay Area pageant were returning 2017 entrants Natalie Galster, 20, of Wautoma, and Kylie Breanne Louise Thompson, 20, of Beloit, who was Miss Beloit in 2015. She is junior at St. Norbert College in De Pere.

Coincidentally, Mazier’s younger sister was selected as Miss Green Bay Area’s Outstanding Teen 2018 on Jan. 20. Anika Mazier, 16, of Appleton, won the title over two other participants. She performed a tap dance in the talent contest and will compete in the 2018 Miss Wisconsin’s Outstanding Teen pageant in Oshkosh. The remaining teen contestants in the pageant were Elizabeth Black of Little Chute and Ahna Voelz of De Pere.

The annual Miss Green Bay Area pageant accepts young women, ages 17-24, who live or attend college in either Brown, Calumet, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Oconto, Outagamie, or Shawano counties. The same applies for the teenage pageant entrants, ages 13 to 17.

Previous Miss Green Bay winners who later became Miss Wisconsin include: Phyllis Ann Kessler (1949); Laura Jean Voss (1994); Kimberly Brooke Sawyer (2010); and Courtney Jean Pelot (2016). Additionally, former Miss Green Bay 1967, Terry Anne Meeuwsen of De Pere, was named Miss Wisconsin in 1972 when competing as Miss Appleton. She was later chosen as Miss America for 1973.