Bank Supports Miss Hardee County


Lakeland, Fla., May 2, 2019 – Jessica Kunkel, the reigning Miss Hardee County, received much support from friends and family for the pageant held earlier this year at the Hardee County Fair, including a sponsorship from Wauchula State Bank.

“I’m grateful for all the help I received from everyone involved,” she said.

“We were happy to support Jessica in her campaign for Miss Hardee County,” said bank President Donna McKown. “We’ve known Jessica since she was a child and she has always had an independent spirit and a sense of humor. We are happy that Jessica will have the opportunity to represent Hardee County throughout 2019.

“We know she will represent Hardee County well, and we are very proud of Jessica’s accomplishments,” McKown added.

A 16-year-old junior at Hardee County Senior High, Jessica the daughter of Dagmar Kunkel, who came to this country from Germany and serves as director of eServices in bank operations for Crews Bank Corp. (owner of Wauchula State Bank). Jessica Kunkel is proud to be a first generation American who speaks German.

Jessica is quite accomplished in the classroom. All of her current core classes are Advanced Placement and Honors courses, and she has been taking double science classes for the last two years. She received a Certificate of Achievement for attaining a perfect score on the Grade 10 FSA ELA (Florida Standard Assessment English Language Arts) from former Gov. Rick Scott.

She took first place in district and regional science fairs. She earned the Ricoh Sustainable Development Award, the “Taking the Pulse of the Planet” award from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Student Award for Geoscience Excellence from the Association for Women Geoscientists. She obtained Microsoft Office Specialist certification in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint at the end of her freshman year.

Jessica serves as reporter for the Hardee High Wildcat Scratches newspaper and also writes articles for the school section of the local paper. In addition, she works with UthMpact, the high school version of Drug Free Hardee County. Originally a chapter of Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD), UthMpact has expanded its mission to include peer-to-peer education, prevention, and activism dedicated to preventing destructive decisions, particularly underage drinking, other drug use, risky and impaired driving, teen violence, and teen suicide.

Jessica is undecided as to what she wants to do in the future, although she is interested in attending Florida State University and definitely sees English and writing in her future. She said competing in the Miss Hardee County pageant helped her develop skills she plans to use in her future career and boosted her overall confidence.

“I discovered that if I put my mind to it, anything is possible,” she said.


ABOUT WAUCHULA STATE BANK – Based in Wauchula, Fla., Wauchula State Bank has served the Florida Heartland since 1929 as a family owned, locally managed community bank. The late J.W. Crews Sr. (father of the current vice chairman) purchased controlling interest in the bank in 1932, and the bank is still owned and operated by the Crews family. With over $640 million in assets and seven branches located in Hardee, Highlands and Polk counties, Wauchula State Bank is the largest among the family of banks under Crews Bank Corp., the others including Charlotte State Bank & Trust, Englewood Bank & Trust and Crews Bank & Trust. To learn more, visit Member FDIC / Equal Housing Lender