Scottsdale girl to compete for National American Miss Arizona

Zoephia Peyton

Zoephia Peyton Decker-Knealing (Submitted photo)

Zoephia Peyton Decker-Knealing, daughter of Dr. Shannon Decker and Mr. Terry Knealing, has earned the prestigious title of the 2015 National American Miss Arizona at the state pageant held July 2015.

She will be attending the National Pageant to be held in Anaheim, Calif. at Disneyland during Thanksgiving week, representing the state of Arizona, where she will have the opportunity to win her share of over $500,000 in cash and prizes, according to a press release.

The National American Miss Pageants are dedicated to celebrating America’s greatness and encouraging its future leaders. Each year, the National American Miss Pageants award 1.5 million dollars in cash, scholarship and prizes to recognize and assist the development of young women nationwide, stated the release.

National American Miss has added the ultimate door prize to Nationals 2015, stated the release.  Each girl that qualifies for the national pageant has a chance to win a new 2015 Ford Mustang Convertible.

National American Miss is dedicated to developing the success of young women across our nation with a program that is designed to be age-appropriate and family oriented.  Pageants are held in each state for girls ages four to eighteen in five different age divisions, the release stated.

The National American Miss Pageants are for “Today’s Girl” and “Tomorrow’s Leaders.”  The pageant program is based on inner beauty, as well as poise, presentation and offers an “All American Spirit” of fun for family and friends.  Emphasis is placed on the importance of gaining self-confidence, learning new skills, learning good attitudes about competition and setting and achieving personal goals, according to the release.

The pageant seeks to recognize the accomplishments of each girl while encouraging her to set goals for the future.

Miss Decker-Knealing’s activities include dance, ice skating, acting, gymnastics and playing the electric guitar, stated the press release.  She is a year ahead in school and currently an A+ student in the 3rd grade at QI Montessori in Cave Creek.

She is also represented as an actress and model with the Leighton Agency of Scottsdale.  When not busy with school and activities, Miss Decker-Knealing enjoys doing community service projects. Miss Decker-Knealing started her own non-profit foundation for the promotion of literacy in 2013, which she self-titled because her name means “bringer of light and wisdom,” stated the release.

The Zoephia Foundation supports existing organizations dedicated to promoting literacy and encourages youth to get involved by acting as peer readers and tutors in their community, the release stated.

Miss Decker-Knealing is currently leading her own fundraising efforts for Pajama Program throughout the valley.  October marks the “danger season” when donations for pajamas and books for kids in need are needed most.  Over the last two years, she collected over 1000 new pajamas and new books for Arizona kids in need, according to the release.  Her donations went to organizations like UMOM New Day Center, Crisis Nurseries and the Sojourner Center.

She also volunteers for the Read-to-Me program at UMOM, as a reading tutor at her school and for Feed My Starving Children.  As part of her responsibilities as Miss Arizona, Miss Decker-Knealing will be making appearances around the state this year, including the upcoming Cave Creek Wild West Days and the Carefree Electric Light parades.

Her hope is to visit all major points and cities across the great state she represents, according to the release.  Miss Decker-Knealing’s sponsors include her friends and family.

Find out more about National American Miss at

The Scottsdale Independent publishes a free daily newsletter. A print edition is mailed to 75,000 homes and businesses each month. If you value our journalistic mission, please consider showing us your support.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable. Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the arrow in the upper right corner of the comment box.

Facebook Comment