Photo credit: Max Sebrechts
Ten years after winning the Miss USA 2008 crown, Houston-area native and actress Crystle Stewart-Sebrechts returned to her pageant roots as the new director of the Miss Houston USA and Miss Houston Teen USA pageants.
After filming the final season of Tyler Perry’s sitcom For Better or Worse, Stewart also fulfilled her dream of opening MISS Academy, a charm school she co-founded with husband, model/actor Max Sebrechts before assuming her new role as director of a pageant that has become a staple in the Houston community.
After months of intense preparation and training, Stewart celebrated the crowning of 2018 Miss Houston USA, Lesha Wincher and Miss Houston Teen USA, Kennedy Edwards, this weekend as contestants took to the stage to vie for the Miss Houston USA crown and the chance to compete in the Miss Texas USA pageant.
Hannah Johannes was the first African American Miss Houston Teen contestant to be crowned Miss Houston USA in the pageant’s history, and this year two women of color walked away with both the Miss Houston USA and Miss Houston Teen USA crowns.
The Miss Houston USA pageant system has enjoyed a rich history of enhancing the lives of young women and teens, ages 13-27. A multi-faceted actress, model and entrepreneur, Stewart brings her extensive pageantry training, celebrity and poise to the Miss Houston brand.
Preparing women for a shot to compete in the Miss Texas USA pageant, which has garnered nine Miss USA titleholders, including Stewart, the last Miss Texas USA contestant to be crowned Miss USA, is a responsibility the Missouri City native does not take lightly.
“I value the impact pageants have in empowering young women and girls to embrace their futures and be fearless in pursuing their dreams, and it is a privilege to carry on the long-standing legacy of the Miss Houston pageant,” said Stewart.
Stewart shared her excitement on her new role in a segment on Channel 2’s Houston Life in an interview with reporter, Stephanie Gonzalez.
Stewart and co-director, Lauren Lanning DeGeorgio, and their team, served up a gala-style event, themed Pageantry of Power, filled with glitz and glamour. She and her team also introduced an exciting selection of life-enhancing prizes to the winners’ packages to ensure the new titleholders can continue to put their best foot forward during their respective reigns.
Topping off an emotion-packed weekend for contestants and pageant directors, Stewart also celebrated her big screen debut in a lead role in Tyler Perry’s latest film Acrimony during its opening weekend release.
Sponsors of this year’s pageant included MISS Academy, Hilton Post Oak Hotel, Muzzie’s, Venetian Nail Spa, Urban Rocks, Elizabeth Anthony, Theresienol and Carnan Properties.