Two Miss Rogue Valley winners crowned

Two young ladies were crowned Southern Oregon royalty at the annual Miss Rogue Valley Scholarship Pageant this past weekend.

The pageant, held at 7 p.m. Saturday at Cascade Christian High School, named 18-year-old Brianna Lee, of Ashland, as Miss Rogue Valley 2014. Emma Gaut, 13, was named Miss Rogue Valley's Outstanding Teen.

Lee was born in the Rogue Valley but split her time between here and Michigan, where she graduated from Milford High School. She flew back to Southern Oregon to visit family during summers.

"For me, this experience is really phenomenal opportunity to give back to the community that has shaped my life for so long," Lee said.

Now a freshman at Southern Oregon University's Honors College, she has declared a major in political science, and eventually hopes to double major in that and sociology. She has numerous scholastic and leadership accolades, including high academic honors at her high school. She aspires to do litigation or social work. Her platform focused on community support of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.

Emma, a McLoughlin Middle School eighth-grader who will be attending South Medford High School in the fall, lives in Jacksonville.

"It was so much fun. I really had a great time," Emma said of the pageant. "It just was a great experience."

Emma gained acceptance to the SOU Academy program in 2011 and 2013. She has been a student of ballet for 10 years and written a novel called "This is Jack."

Her platform centered around "positivity through performance," where she elaborated on the creative and social benefits of children getting on stage.

"I know that's really helped me in a lot of ways," Emma said. "I want others to have the same kind of experience I have."

The nonprofit Women's Scholarship Foundation has sponsored the Miss Rogue Valley Scholarship Pageant for more than 50 years. The pageant provides $13,000 in scholarships to young women in Jackson and Josephine counties, and is the first step to the Miss America stage.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or by email at

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