Mountain State Forest Festival Director General Mike Karlen has announced the appointments of Megan Leigh Nida and Emily Jane Thompson as maids of honor to Queen Silvia LXXVI. Nida and Thompson are bestowed with the highest Randolph County honors in the Forest Festival's 76th Royal Court.
Twenty-year-old Nida will be a junior at Davis & Elkins College in the fall and graduated from Elkins High School with the class of 2010. She is the daughter of Rich and Marsha Nida of Elkins. She is the granddaughter of B.J and Sue Manning of Elkins and Dick and Linda Nida of Elkins and the late Glenna Nida. Nida also is the great-granddaughter of Juanita Hunter of Elkins and the late Bill Hunter and Mary Nida of Elkins and the late Richard R. Nida. She was a flower girl in the Royal Court in 2001.
At EHS, she was an honor roll student, and an active member of student council, class council, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and office assistant. She was a member of the volleyball team, earned her varsity letter all four years, was named to second team NCAC All Conference team her freshman and sophomore years and was named NCAC first team her junior and senior years. Her senior year, she was named to the All State Honorable Mention Team. She also attended Rhododendron Girls State.
Nida received the Highland Scholarship at Davis & Elkins College where she majors in human services and psychology with a minor in criminology. She has been employed at the Elkins Cinema Eight for the past four years.
Nida has one sister, Ashley. The Nida family has a rich tradition of Forest Festival involvement and has worked with the festival for more than the 30 years.
Thompson is the daughter of Todd and Kelly Thompson of Elkins. She is the granddaughter of David and Nancy Thompson of Elkins and Robert and Margaret Teter of Mill Creek, and the great-granddaughter of Alma Shaffer of Valley Head.
She was awarded the PROMISE scholarship and will be a sophomore this fall at West Virginia University where she majors in elementary education. She also is a member of the color guard section of "The Pride of West Virginia" Mountaineer Marching Band.
The Thompson family has a long history of work with the Forest Festival. The maid's mother, Kelly Thompson, has served on various festival committees and two years as an assistant director in the Queen's Department. Her sister, Alyssa Thompson, was the crown bearer for the Royal Court in 2005.
Thompson graduated from Elkins High School in 2011 where she was a member of the Key Club, Elkins High School marching and concert band, and was captain of the Tigerette line. She also was an honor roll student. She has been a dance student for the last 14 years and is currently taking classes at Dance by Farrah. She attends the United Methodist Church in Valley Bend.
The 76th Mountain State Forest Festival will be celebrated in Elkins from Sept. 29 to Oct. 7. For more information, visit www.forestfestival.com.