Mary Elizabeth D’Eon will be celebrating Thanksgiving in Orlando next week. The talented 16-year-old Saugus High senior is traveling to Florida to compete in the United National Miss Scholarship Pageant.
Accompanying Mary on the journey will be her mother, Chelsea High School 1983 graduate Phyllis Scalia-D’Eon. Long-time Chelsea residents will instantly recognize the name Scalia: Phyllis’ mother is the late Mary Scalia, who helped so many residents through her service to the community.
Mary is carrying on the Scalia family’s tradition of community service. In fact, the United National Miss program “encourages leadership through service.”
Success on the Pageant Scene
Mary D’Eon is the reigning Miss New England Teen, having claimed that title in February in Springfield. That achievement earned her a spot in the United National Miss with other state winners. Mary has won ten titles since entering her first pageant at the age of eight.
At the United National Pageant, Mary will participate in evening gown, runway, and talent competitions. She will be singing “No Good Deed” from “Wicked The Musical.” The finals will be held on Nov. 27.
“I’m very excited about this pageant,” said Mary, the former USA Junior Ambassador national winner. “It’s always fun making friends and meeting other girls from all over the United States. I’m actually looking forward to meeting the New York contestants because I hope to attend college there. I’ve been looking at Pace University and Juilliard because I want to major in musical theater.”
Busy with School, Community Activities
Though she is studying remotely away from the brand-new Saugus High School, Mary has taken part in a number of extracurricular activities. She does social media, sings, and choreographs for the Saugus Sachines, an acapella group.
She also dances at The Studio Dance Complex in Revere under the direction of co-founder Kris Testa.
Mary said she takes pride in her community service endeavors. She helps out at the PACE Senior Center in Lynn. She placed flags to honor the victims of the opioid crisis at an event in Natick. During the pandemic, she distributed baked goods to friends as part of a “Sweet Treats” program. She will be organizing a coat drive in January.
“I’m immensely proud of Mary,” said Phyllis Scalia-Deon. “She’s just beautiful on the outside, but she’s beautiful with her huge heart. She’s a great friend. I always compare her to The Cowardly Lion because she’s got so much courage. The things that she does and the talent that she has, and how she shares it with everybody, it’s astonishing to me. I couldn’t have been blessed with more of a gift than her.”
Mary is grateful for her parents Phyllis and Rick’s support and encouragement in her pageant career. “They’ve always been supportive of everything that I’ve done. And my older brother [Joshua, a 2020 graduate of Salem State University who works as a personal trainer] has been super supportive as well.”
She said being a contestant in pageants has been a positive experience in her life. “Pageants have always really made me very confident in myself,” said Mary. “My parents always say that I’ve been on more interviews than they have because of pageants. It gives me more of a platform to share positive messages to people.”
Mary noted that the United National Miss Pageant’s message this year is Crown Cares, “which is creating a respectful environment in school.”
“When I return to school, I want to work with middle school and elementary school students and bring a positive message about treating everyone respectfully,” said Mary.
Well said.(Information from United National Miss was used in the compilation of this story).