Miss America 2012-2013 Laura Kaeppeler Kenosha

Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler Kenosha, Wisconsin, Age: 23, Education: St. Joseph High School | Carthage College, Platform Issue: Circles of Support-Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents, Scholastic Honors: Dean's List; Outstanding Senior Music Major Award,; Music Department Honor's Recital Participant, Career Ambition: To become a Speech Pathologist. 11 more images after the break break...

The winner beat out 53 other contestants for the crown, a $50,000 scholarship and a yearlong run as Miss America, touring the country to speak to groups and raise money for the Miss America Organization's official charity, the Children's Miracle Network. Find out who won Miss America 2012 (Spoiler Alert).

Miss Wisconsin, Laura Kaeppeler was crowned Miss America 2012 by Miss America 2011 Teresa Scanlan, during the Miss America pageant on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012 in Las Vegas.

The 23-year-old attended Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin and did an operatic solo of the Italian song "Il Bacio" for the talent competition. Her platform was supporting and mentoring the children of incarcerated parents. Her father told the Associated Press that he served 18 months in federal prison for mail fraud.

For her interview question, Kaeppeler was asked whether beauty queens should discuss their political stance.

"Miss America represents everyone, so I think the message to political candidates is that they represent everyone as well," Kaeppeler said. "And so in these economic times, we need to be looking forward to what America needs, and I think Miss America needs to represent all."

The third runner-up was Miss Arizona, Jennifer Sedler, the second runner-up was Miss New York, Kaitlin Monte and the first runner-up was Miss Oklahoma, Betty Thompson. (More)

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