Jensen readies for December Miss America

Weiser’s own Sarah Jensen, after being crowned Miss Idaho on June 18, 2022, is preparing for the 2023 Miss America pageant to be held this December.
 To mark the occasion, a sendoff party is planned for Saturday, Nov. 26 at the Weiser Train Depot, located at 1 State St. in Weiser, from 2-6 p.m. There will be a raffle, refreshments, and a preview of Jensen’s Miss America wardrobe.
 Everyone in the community is invited to attend andoffer Jensen, in person, their best wishes as she heads to compete at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut.
 “It is a huge honor,” Jensen said of representing Weiser and the state of Idaho.
 The candidates will be flying to New York City on Dec. 8 for appearances scheduled for Dec. 9 before flying to Connecticut a few days prior to the pageant – the 101st edition - which starts Monday, Dec. 12, according to Jensen.
 “We have two days of prelims, on Monday and Tuesday, where everyone will compete, meaning all 51 states,” she said of the lineup, which includes the District of Columbia. “Then, they will do finals and it is either the top 10 or 15 – they haven’t told us yet – who will compete in the finals.”
 Alaskan, Emma Broyles, is the reigning Miss America.
 Jensen is a hometown girl born and raised in Weiser. She graduated from Weiser High School where she served on student council, participated in school musicals and choir, and was part of the “Red Wave” spirit club. She was also on the volleyball and softball teams.
 “I really liked the smalltown community; It was great because I grew up knowing everybody,” she said of Weiser. “It was special and fun, and I got to experience a lot of things whereas in bigger schools a lot of kids have to pick and choose the things they are involved in. I got to be involved in everything and I liked that.”
 Jensen said that it was also in Weiser where she developed a sincere appreciation for the outdoors, something she brought with her to the greater Boise area where she now works as a math teacher at Gem Prep Meridian charter school.
 “My family was really outdoorsy,” she said. “We went camping and boating and fishing and I still really enjoy doing those things. The great thing about Boise is that you can be on top of a mountain in 45 minutes.”
 Jensen earned her degree in education from Washington State University and is currently pursuing her master’s in Educational Leadership at Boise State University. When through, she will be qualified to serve as a school principal. Those plans, however, are temporarily on hold.
 “I’m actually on pause with my degree,” she said. “I finished three of five semesters, but when I won Miss Idaho, I had to take something off my plate.”
 Although her future plans may include taking a future administrative position, she is also pondering a career working alongside the military, something she has experienced before.
 “I think it would also be great to teach for the Department of Defense on a military base overseas,” Jensen said. “I did my student teaching on a military base in Germany and had a great time. It was an incredible experience, so I could definitely see myself going that route at some point, but it’s kind of up in the air – the world is my oyster.”
 As for the Miss America pageant, Jensen has already been preparing with frequent mock interviews for the 10-minute interview portion of the competition. She also practices daily on the piano, her chosen talent.
 There is also a 45-second TED-type talk, which she will utilize to introduce her “Why Math Matters” social impact initiative, which aims to demonstrate to youth the fact that math is relevant in just about every job or career.
 TED Talks are influential videos from expert speakers on education, business, science, technology, and creativity, according to
 It was unclear at publication whether the pageant will be aired on mainstream television or live streamed or, perhaps, both.
 With all of the glamour and national exposure, some might wonder if Jensen feels any butterflies.
 “I competed at Miss Idaho five times and won on the fifth attempt and so the way I have to frame this whole thing in my head is that I’m just competing again,” she said. “I’m doing the same thing I’ve done five times already, but I’ve also never competed in Miss America before, so I don’t know what the nerves will be like once I show up. I’m just trying to keep things under control and work on my mental management because it is a big stage and a big opportunity.”


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