Twelve compete for Miss Sparta contest

Annual event being held June 22


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The Miss Sparta annual contest will be held Sunday, June 22 at 6:30 p.m. at the Skyview Golf Club.

Tickets are on sale at Ailish's Paint and the Sparta Book Store. The are $18 in advance and $20 at the door.

Twelve local women are vying for the Miss Sparta crown.

Here is a look at each of the candidates.


Emily Melberger, 18, is a senior at Sparta High School in the class of 2014. In the Fall she will attend The College of New Jersey, where she plans on majoring in Music Education.

At Sparta High School Emily was a member of the Key Club, Operation Smile, History Club, PDP Leader, Choir Chorus, Shacapella, Feshmen Select Choir Teacher Assistance, All National Honor Choir 2013, All Eastern 2013, NAFME All State 2012, National Honor Society and World Language Honor Society.

She also volunteers her time with Salvation Army events, ran an event for Ovarian Cancer awareness, volunteers for seniors at Knoll Heights, and helped organize a 5K to benefit IES Brain Research.

Emily is employed at Il Porto. In her spare time she enjoys reading, writing and performing.

She is the daughter of Kevin and Bernadette Melberger.


Jamie Melville, 17, is a senior at Sparta High School in the class of 2014.

This fall she will attend Fairfield University where she plans on studying International Relations with hopes to pursue a career in Foreign Services.

At Sparta High School she was a four year member of the Girls Varsity Basketball team and team captain for two years. She also scored 1,000 career points.

Jamie was a member of DECA, Future Business Leaders of America and the Mugs Media Girls Basketball Player of the Year.

Jamie volunteers at Saint Kateri Youth Ministry Project Outreach, Find the Courage, PDP Leader as well as a Sparta Recreational Youth Basketball Evaluator.

Jamie is employed by Jefferson Dairy. In her free time she enjoys playing the piano, ukulele and has an interest in health and fitness. She also speaks French.

She is the daughter of Tom and Laura Melville.


Mackenzie Heffernan, 18, is a senior at the Sparta High School in the class of 2014. This fall she will attend County College of Morris. Upon her completion at CCM, Mackenzie hopes to attend Rutgers School of Business and major in Marketing or International Business.

At Sparta High School Mackenzie was involved in DECA, Spring Muscial, Woman’s Choir, Habitat for Humanity, Operation Smile, Peer Development Program, National Honor Society, and National Russian Language Society, Students Taking Action in the Community, Recreational Softball, Track and Field, and Cheerleading.

She also volunteers with Girls on the Run as a coach and ambassador, and an Autism program through the Son-Rise Program.

Mackenzie is employed as a daycare worker at Rainbow of Learning, tutoring and babysitting.

She is the daughter of Brian and Kathleen Heffernan.


Shannon McIntyre, 17, is a junior at Sparta High School.

At Sparta High School Shannon is a member of the National Honor Society, Habitat for Humanity, Key Club, Operation Smile, DECA, FCA, Find the Courage, and PDP.

Shannon also volunteers as a member of the Sparta Ambulance Squad, Pass-it-Along, Girls on the Run Coach, and DOGMA Team.

Upon graduation next year she plans on attending a four-year college along the East Coast and hopes to study medicine. One day she would like to become a neonatologist.

Shannon is the daughter of Peter and Maggie McIntyre.


Megan Lepore, 18, is a senior at Sparta High School in the class of 2014. In the fall she will attend Manhattan College School of Science where she plans on studying Dentistry.

At Sparta High School Megan was a member of PDP, S.T.A.C., the President and Founder of Operation Smile. She is also a Girls on the Run coach.

Megan is employed at Il Porto and Lake Mohawk Country Club.

She is the daughter of Jennifer Lepore.


Kelly Faria, 18, is a senior at Sparta High School in the class of 2014. In the Fall she will attend Wagner College where she plans on majoring in Nursing.

At Sparta High School, Kelly was a member of the the soccer team, lacrosse and swim and track and field teams. She played varsity field hockey from 2012-2014.

Kelly was a member of DECA, STAC, and Operation Smile.

Her volunteer work includes Sparta Youth Girls Lacrosse, Sparta Youth Football, Tilly’s Kids and Pass it Along.

Kelly is employed by The Wearhouse Grille and Casa Mia.

She is the daughter of Kevin and Beth Faria.


Taylor Connor, 18, is a senior at Sparta High School in the class of 2014. In the Fall she will attend West Chester University where she plans on majoring in Nutrition.

At Sparta High School, Taylor was a member and captain of the girls varsity field hockey team. She was involved with Operation Smile, DECA and STAC.

She volunteered as a coach for Girls on the Run the Sparta Youth Field Hockey program, and Tilly’s Kids for Christmas.

Taylor is employed at Casa Mia.

She is the daughter of Larry and Kim Connor.


Isabella Lusardi, 17, is a senior at Sparta High School in the class of 2014. In the Fall she will attend The University of Delaware where she will study Computer Science in the Honors Program.

At Sparta High School Isabella was a member of the Russian National Honor Society, the National Honor Society, Operation Smile clothing drives and candy sales, and Teen Suicide Awareness, in which she organized a Day of Silence in memory of her friend and classmate.

She volunteers with Pass-it-Along, playing basketball with the developmentally handicapped adults through SCARC, organized and distributed food to the local food pantry, Tilly’s kids, St. Kateri Church Bridges Run, and volunteered with the Sparta Education Foundation annual Turkey Trot.

Isabella is employed at Wearhouse Grille. In her free time she enjoys going to the gym, playing the piano, sculpting and drawing, playing basketball at Ungerman, helping with the Sparta Recreation Basketball League and spending time with her dog Brisco.

Isabella is the daughter of Kevin and Holly Lusardi.


Rachael Brunetti, 19, is a freshman at Sussex County Community College. Upon graduating she hopes to attend Montclair State University and study Elementary Education.

Rachael has volunteered with Pass-it-Along for the past six years where she was offered an internship last year.

She is employed as a Camp Sacajawea Camp Counselor and Nanny.

Rachael is the daughter of Raymond and Monica Brunetti.


Ashley Darnsteadt, 18, is senior at Sparta High School in the class of 2014. In the Fall she will attend Quinnipiac University. Ashley plans on studying nursing and continuing her education to earn a Doctorate Degree in Nursing to become a Nurse Practictioner.

Ashley has been volunteering through Pass-it-Along since 2006 and is currently the Junior Leader of the Cooking with a Mission Program soup kitchen, Service Corps and was previously the Sparta High School Vice President. She also volunteers on the Sparta Ambulance Squad where she became a NJ State Certified EMT and was previously the Cadet Sergeant.

Ashley is a volunteer at St. Clare’s Hospital in Denville, St. Kateri Vacation Bible School, a member of St. Kateri Squire Roses, and attended the Church Mission Trip to Washington DC, and an Antioch Leader.

At Sparta High School, Ashley is an honor roll student. She has been a member of Habitat for Humanity, Key Club, Take Action Club, Science League, PDP Leader, and Operation Smile.

Ashley is employed at Flanders Pediatric Dentistry.

She is the daughter of Dale and Kelly Darnsteadt.


Aimee Buchana, 17, is a junior at Sparta High School.

Aimee is an active member of the Mock Trial, Drama Club, PDP, National Honor Society, French Honor Society and has recently attempted to start a book club. In the past, Aimee has participated in choir, dance and the Sparta High School’s Gay-Straight Alliance. As the Treasurer of the Drama Club, Aimee has aided with a student production as stage manager and teaching assistant for the Sparta Middle School musical.

She enjoys performing in the school shows as well as numerous community theatres.

Aimee is a volunteer at Pass-it-Along and is also a Sunday school teacher at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church.

She is the daughter of Andrew and Patty Buchana.


Britany Rivera, 17, is a junior at Sparta High School.

Brittany is involved in the Key Club, Marching Band, Find the Courage, PDP, Habitat for Humanity, DECA, Science League and Chemistry Olympics. She is also a member of the National Honor Society and the Chinese Foreign Language National Honor Society.

Brittany has been on the Principal’s Honor Roll for four consecutive marking periods and received an award for academic excellence in English.

Brittany has volunteered for several years with Pass-it-Along doing various projects as well as the DASI program. She has also coached youth soccer.

Upon her high school graduation, Brittany hopes to attend Clemson University to major in Food Science and minor in Marketing. In the future she would love to work for the Food Network.

In her spare time, Brittany enjoys exercising, traveling and playing music.

Brittany is employed by Rich Carlson as well as a lifeguard.

She is the daughter of Ellen and Edwin Rivera.

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