August 31, 2015
By Amy Kuperinsky
Danica McKellar, a math education advocate and author known to many as Winnie from ‘The Wonder Years,’ is joining the Miss America judges’ table. (Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images)
Once upon a time she was Winnie Cooper on “The Wonder Years.” Now a mathematician and education advocate, Danica McKellar has joined the Atlantic City judging panel for the 2016 Miss America competition.
McKellar, 40, is the author of books aimed at young students and high schoolers including “Math Doesn’t Suck: How to Survive Middle School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail,” “Hot X: Algebra Exposed” and “Girls Get Curves: Geometry Takes Shape.” The pageant itself has been pushing the theme of S.T.E.M. education in recent years.
As an actress, McKellar, who made her “Wonder Years” debut in 1988 and remained on the show through 1993, has also appeared on “How I Met Your Mother,” “The West Wing” and “The Big Bang Theory.” Like some of her fellow Miss America judges, she competed in “Dancing with the Stars.”
McKellar joins snowboarder Amy Purdy, author Taya Kyle — wife of the late “American Sniper” Navy SEAL Chris Kyle — “Shark Tank” entrepreneur Kevin O’Leary, actress and singer Zendaya and country singer Brett Eldredge on the judging panel.
There is one celebrity judge slot left. The Atlantic City-based Miss America Organization says it will announce who will fill the role in the coming weeks.
The Miss America contestants, who have already arrived in Atlantic City, will walk the boardwalk in an official arrival ceremony on Tuesday.
The 2016 Miss America competition airs live from Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall at 9 p.m. Sept. 13 on ABC.