Friends of Bay City’s Mallory Rivard cheered her on as she competed for the Miss America crown in Connecticut Thursday. A watch party gathered at the Pierce Road Bar and Grill near Saginaw Valley State University as the show aired on NBC.

Tammy Witzgall  who’s also from Bay City and known Rivard since she was five says everyone thinks she’s a queen regardless of the outcome of the pageant. Witzgall added what makes Rivard special is her perseverance that helps her to ultimately succeed.

Rivard who graduated from Bay City Western and SVSU teaches First Grade at Bay City’s MacGregor Elementary and encourages parents to read to their children.