Wausau native Grace Stanke wins Miss America

Wausau native Grace Stanke at a Miss America competition.
Wausau native Grace Stanke at a Miss America competition.(WSAW)
Published: Dec. 15, 2022 at 10:04 PM CST
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UNCASVILLE, Conn. (WSAW) - Wausau native Grace Stanke has won the title of Miss America. She beat out Miss New York for the crown.

The Wausau West grad was crowned Miss Wisconsin in June.

The 20-year-old recently won the Miss America Talent Scholarship for her classical violin performance, earning a $2,500 scholarship.

Earlier Thursday, Stanke said while she loves nuclear engineering, she’s ready to take on the role of Miss America for the next 12 months.

“I’m ready for the job and I’m ready to advocate for women who don’t think they can do whatever it may be,” she said. “That’s the biggest thing as Miss America, I want to leave the legacy of the women who can. Lot of the times I get put into this box when people hear I’m a nuclear engineer, but I can do so much more. I’m a classical musician. I’m a competitive water skier. I’m a family member, a friend. An outdoors woman who loves to go camping in the woods in the middle of the night, right,” Stanke said with a laugh.

Stanke is a UW-Madison student and is the first nuclear engineer to compete in the annual Miss America contest.

Two Miss Wisconsin’s had previously gone on to win Miss America. They include Laura Kaeppeler of Kenosha in 2011 and Terry Meeuwsen of De Pere in 1973.