Rachel Shumaker

Miss Pontotoc
Hometown: Pontotoc, MS
Platform: Ahead of the Curve – Scoliosis
Talent: Piano performance
Hobbies: Running, tennis, traveling, dancing, playing guitar, attending college football and baseball games
School: Pontotoc High School
Scholastic Ambition: To earn Bachelor of Animal Science and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees from Mississippi State University
Scholastic Honors: Honor roll-11 years; Beta Club; Two-time Pontotoc County Spelling Bee Champion; 7th place in Mid-South Spelling Bee; Perfect score on Mississippi Algebra 1 state test
What makes you special and unique? I have a strong sense of fairness, and I am persistent. I think logically and reason through problems
What is the one thing about you that people you meet may not immediately realize? I have the strength of titanium—metaphorically and literally. It is hard to wear me down mentally when I am determined, and I actually have two 10-inch titanium rods and 18 screws in my spine
Best advice you have ever received? I was once told to make my life an adventure. I believe if life is to be an adventure, it is up to us to make it so for ourselves
What can’t you live without? Music
What is your biggest guilty pleasure? Coffee
What is your favorite movie genre and why? I love horror films because of the thrill that accompanies them
Where do you see yourself in ten years? In ten years I hope to be completing my veterinary medicine education
Most valuable lesson learned? I have learned the value of staying true to yourself even if it costs you friendships. Real friends will find you in time and accept you as you are
Most valued role model (other than your mother) and why? My sister is my most valued role model because she is beautiful, intelligent, independent, generous and adventurous. She has taught me a wide range of useful life skills like how to read, ride a bike, and drive
What motivates you? People who tell me I can’t achieve something because it is too hard motivate me to prove them wrong
Greatest non-academic accomplishment other than winning your local title? Three months after I had surgery for scoliosis, I ran a full track season. I will always look back on that as an impossible thing that I accomplished
Best compliment you have ever received? My cross country coach awarded me the Coach’s Award because he said I inspired others to push themselves
Secret wish or dream? To be Miss America
What is the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you? On a snow skiing trip five years ago my friend and I skied onto an unused trail through the woods. I skied over a rock and into a tree, losing both skis. My friend crashed into the rock and lost her skis, too. We came out unscathed, but we were laughing so hard we could not get up from the snow for several minutes
What is one thing you’d like to try that is out of character for you? I would like to someday go skydiving even though I was very afraid of heights as a young child
What is your super power? I have an incredible memory. Often when I am taking tests I can envision the answer in the book exactly as I first saw it
What is one important thing you have learned from being in the Miss Mississippi Program? I have learned just being traditionally pretty is not enough. In this program you must be well informed and willing to work hard to attain your goals
Describe yourself in one word. Vivacious
A Fun Family Fact – Because my mom is an alumna of Ole Miss and my dad and brothers went to Mississippi State, I was raised as a fan of both schools. My sister is a student at Mississippi State now and I still attend football games at both schools. Egg Bowl game day creates some tension, and some of my family usually ends up sitting on their rival’s side of the stadium. We have learned to accommodate each other to preserve peace in the family