As is tradition, at the closing of the St. James scholarship ceremony, two girls from the current junior class are chosen to represent St. James High School as nominees for the Miss St. James.

This past Wednesday, in a ceremony done online, close friends Maddie Brey and Chloe Mickelson were selected.

"I was surprised and thankful that they chose me to represent St. James," said Brey.

Being the recipients of the 2020 Miss St. James scholarship is not the first time they have had experience with the honor. Mickelson and Brey have both seen family members be a part of the Miss St. James tradition.

Mickelson's older sister, Brooklyn, was a Miss St. James nominee in 2018. Brey's cousin, Morgan Sandmeyer, was a nominee in 2015.

Seeing family members and others ride in the parade has always been a highlight for the two.

"Seeing Brooklyn being a positive leader and a role model in the parade and waving to the little girls it made me want to do the same thing as her and represent the town in a positive way," said Mickelson.

This year, however, with no Railroad Days parade, Mickelson and Brey will not be able to partake in riding in the parade, dressed up with a sash and crown.

"It's kind of a bummer because when I found out I was really looking forward to being in the parade and everything," said Brey. "I feel like they'll find a way for us to be represented well even if Railroad Days does get canceled as a whole."

Brey and Mickelson have been involved in numerous activities together over the years, forming a special bond that is only strengthened by being the newest Miss St. James nominees.

"We've been friends basically since we've started school," said Brey. "Being friends, this is going to bring us even closer together and give us more memories."

Within the St. James community, Mickelson and Brey are active in athletics, teaming up in volleyball and softball. Mickelson is also a starter on the girl's basketball team.

Both are also involved in the National Honor Society, youth council, and TeamUp. All of which reach out to the St. James community to bring the school and surrounding areas closer together. Mickelson is also involved in her church's StepItUp group, which helps with the Backpack Program and help keep the community clean.

"I think it's a huge honor to be recognized as one of the leaders, not only in our grade but our community," said Mickelson.