Meet the 2024 Judges – Miss North Carolina & Miss North Carolina’s Teen Competition

Meet the 2024 Judges - Miss North Carolina & Miss North Carolina's Teen Competition

2024 Panel of Judges - Miss

Dr. Francesca Adler-Baeder is Alumni Professor of Human Development and Family Science at Auburn University. She is a nationally and internationally recognized research scientist with over 100 academic publications and received the 2009 Auburn University’s Distinguished Diversity Researcher Award. In 1984, Francesca served as Miss North Carolina and credits the program for providing support for her graduate studies and future career.  Francesca and husband, Patrick, are the parents of four children including Jessica, who served as Miss America’s Outstanding Teen 2018. 

Hannah Bohn has trained for over 30 years in multiple styles of dance and studied at the American Ballet Theatre and Joffrey Ballet. In 2011, Hannah was Miss Illinois and a Top Ten Finalist in the 2012 Miss America Pageant.  Hannah has been involved with the Miss Illinois Production team for eight years and has judged state preliminaries in six states. In 2017, Hannah founded Reverence Dance Company, where her choreography had earned recognition at the regional, state, and national levels.

Jamee Hunt Freeman is a proud member of the Lumbee Tribe and holds an MBA from UNC Pembroke and an M.Ed. in Teaching and Learning from Francis Marion University.  As the Director of Admissions at UNC Pembroke, Jamee plays a pivotal role in shaping the university’s student body and cultivating a culture of excellence. Jamee was overall talent winner and1st Runner Up in the 2008 Miss North Carolina Competition. Jamee’s commitment to community service led her to found ACTIONS, a mentoring and scholarship program for at-risk students.

Jim Montgomery has been affiliated with the Miss America Opportunity for 30 years.  He is Chief Operating Officer for the Miss Georgia Scholarship Competition Inc and has judged numerous state and local competitions. Jim has many stage and television credits, including appearing as a principal dancer at Super Bowl XXIII.  He holds an Educational Specialist degree in Education Administration & Supervision, is a retired middle school principal, and currently serves as Executive Director of the Macon-Bibb-Mayor’s Literacy Alliance in Macon, Georgia 

Kathy Shellum has been a Miss America Opportunity volunteer for the past 46 years and has served as Executive Director for the Miss Minnesota Scholarship Organization for the past 12 years.  She also has served as Region IV district representative for the Miss America Organization of the “Frozen Chosen Region”, serving six midwestern states. Kathy is proud of her family’s military service which includes her father, husband, daughter, son-in-law and oldest grandson.  Kathy is retired from the district school system. 

2024 Panel of Judges - Teen

About the Miss North Carolina Organization

As an official state preliminary associated with the Miss America Opportunity, the Miss North Carolina Organization (MNCO) is a part of the largest scholarship-providing organization for women worldwide. Promoting an emphasis on academics and communication skills, the MNCO is considered a launching pad for young women to further their academic and career goals. Taylor Loyd currently serves as Miss North Carolina 2023. Hanley House, crowned Miss North Carolina’s Teen 2023, became the first teen from North Carolina to win the national title as Miss America’s Teen 2024. Annika Schneider has been crowned by House and now serves as Miss North Carolina’s Teen 2023. For more information about volunteering or competing, please visit

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