Meet West Duluth's newest royal teenagers

Kayla Moore and Ringo Kienitz certainly don't act like royalty. They're not snobbish, nor are they plagued by paparazzi. They giggle a lot. And they're both exceedingly kind.

Kayla Moore and Ringo Kienitz certainly don't act like royalty. They're not snobbish, nor are they plagued by paparazzi. They giggle a lot. And they're both exceedingly kind.

Perhaps that's why Moore and Kienitz were crowned Miss West Duluth and Miss West Duluth Princess at the pageant in Denfeld Auditorium Aug. 1.

"I was so excited that Ringo was Princess, I was hugging her," Moore said, describing the moment their names were announced and the subsequent shock and joy. "It was an amazing experience, to get close to the other girls -- it was a lot of fun."

"It was funny," Kienitz said. "My spontaneous question was 'Why would the person to your left make a great Miss West Duluth?' and Kayla was to my left. It was funny-strange how it all turned out. We were holding hands on stage; Kayla was the one who brought out my music stand ... We got to do it together."

Then there's the fact that one of them is named Ringo, not exactly a royal appellation. (Her real name is Emily, but no one ever calls her that.)


"When I was in third grade I loved the Beatles and I wanted to be a drummer, so I told everyone to call me Ringo," explains Kienitz. "It stuck. And, no, I don't play drums now, I play the violin."

Actually, both Moore and Kienitz play violin, and they're both in concert orchestra at Denfeld. In addition, Moore also volunteers at the zoo as a junior docent, and plays tennis for Denfeld. Kienitz is in youth symphony and Executive Board, plus she takes part in Link Crew.

Moore said she enjoys reading, hanging out with friends, shopping and other "typical teenage stuff."

Kienitz is really into baseball -- not playing it, watching it.

Both girls are excited to begin their year-long reign, volunteering as well as riding in area parades.

Moore's parents are Suzanne Maas and Dean Lillo, she has two brothers: Austin Maas and Dean Lillo, both 7.

Kienitz's mother is Sue Kienitz; her sister is Maren.

On with the questions:


Budgeteer: What is your favorite thing about living in the Northland?

Moore: The community, I guess. I see Duluth as the smallest big city. It's so close-knit. Close to 86,000 people live here, but you can go to the grocery store and see 20 people you know, no matter where you are.

Kienitz: To add to that, because I feel the same way, I love the support here. Whatever I want to do, I not only have the support of my family, but also Denfeld and other people here. If I were in an accident, I know people would raise money or whatever I needed, whether they knew me or not. I love the support and love we give each other here.

Budgeteer: What's your least favorite thing about living in the Northland?

Moore: I'd have to go with the weather, especially when it's cold and doesn't snow.

Kienitz: The weather. It's so unbearably cold in the winter and so unbearably hot in the summer.

Budgeteer: If you won $1 million and had to donate half to a cause or organization of your choice, where would you direct the money?

Kienitz: I would definitely direct it to the MS Society. My mom has Multiple Sclerosis; I see how hard getting around is for her. She lives with pain, just doing everyday things. So I would love to donate money and help them find a cure for that disease.


Moore: I'd probably donate to St. Jude's Children's

hospital or some other children's health organization. I love children so much, it makes me sad to see them suffer from cancer and other diseases. I'd love to donate money to help them find cures, to help kids feel better.

Budgeteer: If you had more "you time," what would you do with it?

Kienitz: I would learn to play baseball. I'm just not very athletic, so I would need a lot of coaching.

Moore: I'd probably just read more. A couple years ago, I would read all the time. Now I'm so busy, there's no time. Back then I'd read 100 books over the summer, now I'm lucky if I read five.

Budgeteer: Do you have a motto, and what is it?

Kienitz: I really have more of a philosophy: To be yourself and not change for anyone. It's hard at school with peer pressure, not being accepted by everyone, but it's better to just be yourself -- you'll be a happier person.

Moore: Mine is along the same lines. No matter what people say, be yourself. That's how you avoid drugs and other things, by not following the crowd. It's a lot easier to be yourself -- and you're a lot happier.

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