Jami Forseth of Huntley crowned new Miss Montana Teen USA

Miss Montana Teen USA 2016 Jami Forseth of Huntley, center, receives her crown from 2015 Miss Montana Tahnee Peppenger, left, and 2015 Miss Montana Teen USA Miranda Youngren. (Photo courtesy Jerry and Lois Photography)

Miss Montana Teen USA 2016 Jami Forseth of Huntley, center, receives her crown from 2015 Miss Montana Tahnee Peppenger, left, and 2015 Miss Montana Teen USA Miranda Youngren. (Photo courtesy Jerry and Lois Photography)

MISSOULA — Meet the new Miss Montana Teen USA for 2015-2016.

She’s Jami Forseth of Huntley, who started her freshman year at the University of Montana-Missoula just days before being crowned Miss Montana Teen USA.

“It’s crazy,” Jami said on Wednesday, after her winning the competition on Saturday and going to her first professional photo shoot on Monday.

“There’s a lot going on,” she said. “I’m really excited.”

The 18-year-old successfully navigated an interview with a panel of judges and both swimsuit and evening gown competitions. The interview portion was her favorite, she said.

The swimsuit and gown modeling were more nerve-wracking, she said, in part because she is still recovering from surgery on eight of her toes last December.

“Walking in five and a half inch heels was not very fun, but really worth it,” she said. Noticing her somewhat awkward gait, a choreographer helped her “and we found kind of a way around it,” Jami said.

She graduated from Huntley Project High School in May and is majoring in communicative science and disorders, an undergraduate program that will help propel her toward her desired career as a speech therapist in children’s clinic.

It’s a passion she developed while working for Kountry Kare Child Care in Shepherd, she said. She’s hoping to work with children during her upcoming year as Miss Teen Montana, “focus on being a role model” and reading to children or visiting children’s clinics.

Jami Forseth models an evening gown during the Miss Montana Teen USA pageant. (Photo courtesy of Jerry and Lois Photography)

Jami Forseth models an evening gown during the Miss Montana Teen USA pageant. (Photo courtesy of Jerry and Lois Photography)

Jamie prepared for the competition by watching recordings of earlier pageants while she

“practiced randomly answering questions. It did help a lot, thinking on the spot,” she said. She also developed a working list of “about five things that meant a lot to me, so I could answer questions and get my personality across.”

Part of that was her Christian faith, she said, which “plays a big role in everything that I do. I really try to stay true to that.”

The daughter of Jim and Karie Forseth, she grew up in a family where she watched her sister compete in pageants and wanted to try it. She competed in the Miss Montana Teen USA pageant once before and finished first runner-up.

This time, both Jami and her mother later told Maureen Francisco, co-executive producer of state pageant qualifier to Miss USA and Miss Teen USA for Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington, that they had steeled themselves for Jami to finish second again. They were trying to protect themselves from disappointment, Francsco said.

Jami said she had wanted to try for the Miss Montana Teen title again, and might later like to compete for Miss Montana, after she graduates from college. She’s looking forward to working with new Miss Montana Sibahn Doxey of Missoula, who acts as a “big sister” during their year together. The two will make some appearances together and also complete some individual projects, Jami said.