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Janet Teesma honored for her work with Junior Miss

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By Alex Wimsatt

 SHEPHERDSVILLE - For nearly a quarter of a century Janet Teensma has worked tirelessly to help young women realize their dreams through the Bullitt County Woman's Club and the Kentucky Junior Miss organization. 

When Teensma recently traveled to Lexington for the state Junior Miss program she knew that several women were to be recognized during the event, but she had no idea that she was one of them.

No one could have been more surprised than Teensma when she was inducted into the Kentucky Junior Miss Hall of Fame for her years of service to the organization.

"It's something you don't think about when you work for a community service organization. When you're trying to give recognition to the young people and everything you don't think about getting it in return," Teensma said.

"It was a humbling experience."

Bullitt County Woman's Club treasurer and Irene Carroll Scholarship Committee chairwoman Donna Stout has known and worked with Teensma for years and in that time she's seen her friend devote much time and energy to the Junior Miss program.

"She and her (late) husband John gave so much to that program. They really put their heart and soul into it," Stout said. 

"It's really an honor for her and him, I wish he were here to see her get this award."

Teensma first became involved with Junior Miss in 1988 shortly after her daughter, Tiffany Teensma Coghill, won Bullitt County Junior Miss.

In 1989 Teensma became Bullitt County Junior Miss program chairwoman. 

The next year she was named production chair of the Bullitt County program. 

From 1991 to 1992 she again served as Bullitt County Junior Miss chairwoman. She then became costume designer for the program in 1993. 

The following year she was named to the state board of directors, which she served on until 2003. 

Teensma said it's been the quality of the program that has kept her involved in Junior Miss for so many years, adding that while she has no plans to serve the program in leadership she does plan to continue supporting the organization. 

"It's just a great program. It's good to see that there are young people in our community who have worthwhile goals and that we can help them in a small way," she said.  

Besides serving in several leadership roles with Junior Miss, Teensma has judged many programs and presented several seminars for Junior Miss participants throughout the state.

In addition to her work with Junior Miss, Teensma has dedicated herself to years of service within the community. 

For 29 years she's been active in the Bullitt County Woman's Club, holding several offices and chairing many committees, including the Irene Carroll Scholarship Committee, which she currently sits on as program chairwoman. 

"Whatever Janet does she gives it 199 percent," Stout said.

"She's just one of those committed ladies who, if you give her a task, you can count on doing it right."

Teensma is currently employed by Okolona Christian Church where she is a member and works as publications coordinator. 

In her spare time Teensma keeps active in church programs and events. 

She also enjoys golfing and traveling.

The Kentucky Junior Miss Hall of Fame was established in January 2009 with the purpose of recognizing outstanding community members within the Kentucky Junior Miss family for their commitment and dedication to the organization. 

Those inducted are from both the local and state level of Kentucky Junior Miss.

On January 15, 2011, the Kentucky Junior Miss program name was changed to Distinguished Young Women of Kentucky.