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Classroom to catwalk

By Hayley Gastmeier
[email protected]

Lakeview School teacher Johannah Prasad is well-known for her stilettos.

On Thursday she was wearing a pair of her black ones to teach her year one and two students athletics on the school field.

The 23-year-old n is a semi-finalist, representing Wairarapa, in the national Miss Five Crowns New Zealand beauty pageant.

“This pageant is all about trying to steer away from the stereotypical views of what pageants are, it’s not just all about outwards appearance but it’s about valuing people for who they are both inside and out and empowering them.”

Born in Dunedin, Ms Prasad is in her second year teaching at the Masterton decile two school.

“It keeps me on my toes but I love it,” she said

The pageant was something she could do on the side-lines of her teaching career, but which also complemented it.

“It’s been really cool to have the opportunity to do what I love – to dress in heels and pretty dresses – but with a purpose to raise money for underprivileged New Zealand kids.”

Pageant participants are fundraising for children’s charity Variety, and Lakeview School is getting behind Ms Prasad’s efforts with a school disco to be held next Friday.

She has raised over $1000 already and has been given a Kiwi child to sponsor for the coming year.

“Part of the reason why I entered in the first place was to help women, but children especially, to know who they are and what they can achieve once they are equipped with the right skills, attitude, knowledge and character to take them places.

“This is just another platform that I could do that and I have been really privileged to have this opportunity.”

Earlier this year Ms Prasad was semi-finalist in Miss Universe New Zealand.

Now she is one of 15 Miss Five Crowns New Zealand semi-finalists, who will be judged in Auckland on November 5.

There will five crowned winners and then one overall supreme winner.

“Since I was a little girl I loved dressing up. I had a mas dress collection and shoe collection and I’ve always loved performing and being on stage,” she said.

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