Francis Howell’s Kate Wenger Named Mrs. Missouri America

Posted on 09/27/2021
Kate Wenger wears crown and sash while holding a "Welcome to Mrs. Wenger's Reading Class" sign

Kate Wenger, a reading specialist at Bryan Middle School, is known to most as Mrs. Wenger. This title represents the many roles she has in life as a mother, a wife, and a teacher, but also symbolizes the countless reasons she earned the title of Mrs. Missouri America at the annual state-wide competition this year.

For more than 40 years, the Mrs. America pageants have provided opportunities for married women to showcase their accomplishments and passions with others. For Wenger, it’s an empowering reminder that her dreams of changing the world and bettering society don’t have to stop now that she is married and has children.

Wenger first discovered the Mrs. America pageant back in 2004 while competing in the St. Charles County fair pageant. After hearing the emcee for the competition, who happened to be that year’s Mrs. Missouri America, she was inspired to compete in the pageant herself when she was older and had a family.

While entering the pageant was a simple bucket list item for Wenger, she holds the new title in a state of disbelief but also excitement for the opportunities that will come from the new role. As a reading specialist, Wenger hopes to increase awareness about dyslexia, which affects up to 20 percent of the population.

“Reading encompasses so many aspects of our life, including school life,” shared Wenger. “School can be really tough for those with dyslexia. It can lead students to have a very negative view of school, and as a result, can diminish their self-esteem and their feeling of self-worth.”

Wenger always cherishes the lightbulb moments when her students recognize their own successes and progress. However, she hopes that others can realize the difficulties of those who have dyslexia and can grow in acceptance and understanding.

In addition to bringing awareness to others about dyslexia, Wenger has been volunteering with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, which gifts one free book a month to children from birth to age five, regardless of income status. The program, which was launched in 1995, has grown internationally over the years, but has not been widely offered in St. Charles County.

With the help of her church, Wenger started an initial fund with a desire to grow the program throughout the entire county. Serving as the volunteer administrator for the fund, she hopes that with the support of businesses and the community, the team can eventually provide books to the children of St. Charles County.

Wenger may be fresh into her new role but is already making a difference in her community. As she prepares for the upcoming national Mrs. America competition, she looks forward to representing the married women in Missouri and educators across the country. Whether she is spreading the word about dyslexia or sharing her love of words with others, the future looks bright for Mrs. Wenger!

Tune it to watch Mrs. Missouri America compete for the national title in November. For more information, visit the Mrs. America website.

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