Jessica Casebolt was crowned Miss Kentucky 2012 by Ann Blair Thornton, Miss Kentucky 2011. Phillips Mitchell Photography.

Jessica Casebolt was shocked and elated when her name was called Saturday night – Miss Kentucky 2012!

A short time later at the University of Kentucky’s Singletary Center for the Arts, as the realization her life was changed forever, she experienced a bit of a downer. She thought of the things she won’t be able to do next school year as she postpones her sophomore year at Georgetown College. Sigma Kappa events. Applying for Oxford.

“It’s bittersweet,” said the Pikeville native, who acknowledged she can still pick up where she left off as a Georgetown student who packed SO much into her freshman year. An Oxford Honors student, Jessica did some theatre with Maskrafters and she was the intern for Executive Scholar-in Residence Billy Reed and his Academy for Character in Sport.

Although she’s a Political Science major who’s thinking about law school, she is also interested in Sports Broadcast Journalism and looking at a double minor in English and Communications.

Unfortunately, her new duties as Miss Kentucky will prevent her from being a media assistant at the professional USTA Fifth Third Bank Tennis Championships at UK next week. She played high school tennis at Pikeville High and was looking forward to being the international event’s liaison to Lexington TV stations.

“But, there will be at time for all that…and I am really excited about the amazing year to come,” said Jessica, who will represent her state at the Miss America Scholarship Pageant in Las Vegas this January.

For the record, Jessica sang what she thought ended up “the perfect choice for me” – The Carpenters version of “Superstar.”

Her on-stage question was: Who is your fashion icon and why? She answered, “Audrey Hepburn, because she was the epitome of class.” If you have seen Jessica at various campus events – especially the receptions for Mr. Reed’s “Conversations with Champions” series – you can tell she knows what she’s talking about.

In addition to all the gifts detailed in the Lexington Herald-Leader story Sunday, Jessica won a $12,000 scholarship and a new Lexus to drive for a year.

Jessica is the daughter of Dean and Carol Casebolt of Pikeville. Her father is the owner-operator of SDC Trucking; her mother is a PR specialist with Pikeville Medical Center.