East Tennessee nurse, clogger wins state pageant

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) – An East Tennessee Children’s Hospital nurse won the Miss Tennessee Volunteer pageant after only competing in two other pageants.

“Everything’s still a whirlwind,” Miss Tennessee Volunteer Paige Clark said, “I have a new responsibility of being Miss Tennessee Volunteer. So trying to navigate that with work and school it’s just all new, but it’s also very exciting.”

The children’s hospital nurse was born and raised in Knoxville. She graduated from South-Doyle High School and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

“I didn’t grow in pageants, but I did grow up on stage,” Clark said.

She competed in her first pageant in 2021.

“I just did it on a whim, for fun. I thought it would just be fun to be on stage in a different aspect than being a professional performer,” Clark explained.

Miss Tennessee Volunteer was Clark’s third pageant, but the stage came naturally to her.

“I have been clogging for as long as I can remember,” she said. “My mom put me in it so young; I don’t even remember learning how to do it.”

She clogged for four seasons in Pigeon Forge at the Comedy Barn and filled in at Hatfield and McCoy.

Now crowned with her new title, she has an added role as the Governor’s spokesperson for character education. Clark will be traveling around Tennessee throughout the school year, seeing over 70,000 kids and talking with them about respect.

“I absolutely love who I am as a person and it’s really helped me shine and bring my light into the room or an interview or on stage,” Clark said.

Clark earned $10,000 for winning the pageant and $1,000 for academic achievement. The money she uses to pay off student loans at Johns Hopkins, where she is earning her doctorate degree in nursing practice. She plans to be a pediatric cardiology nurse.

Clark will compete in Miss Volunteer America next June in Jackson, Tennessee.

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