Mara Pauling and Nicholas Brey named 2020-2021 Homecoming Queen and King

Sean Ellertson
St. James Plaindealer

On Sunday afternoon, St. James High School finally crowned its homecoming king and queen for the 2021 graduating class in queen Mara Pauling, and king Nicholas Brey.

The homecoming ceremony, typically held in the fall, was originally planned for February 14, but due to COVID-19 quarantines, the ceremony was pushed back to the 28th.

"It was super unnerving because we would build up all of the nerves of who is going to get it, and then it's going to happen in February," said Brey. "But then it was postponed to the end of February, so it was like 'are we even going to get it?' And now that it's finally happened and it's over now we can go and relax and not have to worry about homecoming."

"This is really the first time I've felt like a senior so far this year because we're not sharing the attention with anybody," said Pauling. "This is our senior class, this is our senior year and this is the first time it's felt like that."

Prior to being named king and queen, Superintendent Steven Heil shared words to the limited crowd that was gathered inside the event center.

"Homecoming produces memories for us all," said Heil. "At homecoming events, parents, teachers, and community members will think back to their homecomings, The joy of sporting events, parades, dances, and other school activities that are the traditions at each school. These traditions are looked forward to by each senior class, who get to put their own unique spin on the traditions. Despite this pandemic, you took these circumstances, adjusted, and placed your unique spin on homecoming, and proceeded forward.

"I think that is the biggest lesson the world should learn from the class of 2021—from this homecoming and this royal court. The ability to take in your current circumstances, adjust the traditions to the needs of the time, and put your unique mark on it, and proceed forward."

Following Heil's words, Limited Edition—in which both Brey and Pauling are involved—performed "You Say" by Lauren Daigle.

Last year's King, Ben Foss, finally passed the crown onto Brey, and Luci Kulseth crowned Pauling, 

"I always remember—ever since we got to the high school and were able to watch coronation— it was cool to see them juke out everybody thinking that it would be cool to be up there," said Brey.

"It's obviously an honor just being on the court, but being named king and queen shows that the younger students look up to us and admire us and it just feels good," said Pauling.

Brey is involved heavily with the arts at St. James, the equity team, and the social justice club. Pauling participates in dance line, choir, Limited Edition, youth council, team council, and Step It Up. Both volunteer at the daycare.

After high school, Brey plans to attend St. John's University in Collegeville and major in music education with a minor in English and hopes to one day be a choral director.

Pauling plans to go to the University of South Dakota with a double major in elementary education and special education to be an elementary special education teacher.