Miss Philadelphia is a Diamond

Diamond Edmonds, 24, will represent Philadelphia in the Miss Pennsylvania pageant in June. She won Saturday's competition with a tap-dance routine set to Michael Jackson's music.
Diamond Edmonds, 24, will represent Philadelphia in the Miss Pennsylvania pageant in June. She won Saturday's competition with a tap-dance routine set to Michael Jackson's music.
Posted: March 18, 2014

Awaiting her first public appearance Sunday as Miss Philadelphia 2014 - in the St. Patrick's Day Parade - Diamond Edmonds was still aglow with post-pageant euphoria.

"It's just a feeling of accomplishment," said the 24-year-old teacher and North Philadelphia native who was first runner-up in last year's contest. "I worked hard and then I finally got it."

She won Saturday's competition at the University of the Arts with a crowd-pleasing tap routine to Michael Jackson music.

"She brought the house down," said Mary Kaye Jacono Anthony, co-executive director of the Miss Philadelphia Scholarship Committee and a former Miss Philadelphia.

Edmonds, an alumna of the High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, will represent the city in June at the Miss Pennsylvania pageant in Pittsburgh.

Until then, she will do speaking engagements across the city to advocate for children's mentoring programs, her pageant platform. Per pageant requirements, Edmonds will continue working full time during her reign as Miss Philadelphia.

She teaches at the People for People Charter School in Fairmount, and is the first Miss Philadelphia who is an educator, Anthony said. Edmonds will have a substitute covering her classes while she does a round of media interviews Monday but said she would return to the world of pupils and homework on Tuesday.

"When you're Miss Philadelphia, every weekend is booked," Anthony said.

Edmonds, who said she started dancing when she was 6, plans to put her pageant winnings - a $10,000 scholarship sponsored by Adminovate - toward a master's degree.

Like many education majors at Millersville University, where Edmonds earned her undergraduate degree in elementary education, she was inspired to be a mentor.

"It doesn't have to be your teacher. It doesn't have to be someone that you see every day. But at least it's someone that you know that you can reach out to," she said. "You know that they're always encouraging you, that they're always thinking about you."

Edmonds believes advocating mentor programs can benefit Philadelphia School District students as they adjust to consolidated facilities and a potential loss of familiar instructors.

"With so much going on now in the school district, and kids were shuffling to different schools, they might not feel that security," Edmonds said. "Maybe their guidance counselor that was at their school last year that they were really close with, maybe they're not at their school now. Or that one teacher that they just really admired might not be with them anymore."

She found a mentor in her former dance teacher, Fayette Coppock.

"It's always encouraging to me to know that I do have someone on my side," Edmonds said.


abrust@phillynews.com

301-503-5429

@ameliabrust

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