More than 450 young men from across the state, all of whom will enter their senior year of high school this fall, participated in the 2015 session of the American Legion Boys State of as Leadership Academy. The event, in its 78th year, was held May 31, through June 6, at Kansas State University in Manhattan.
The ALBSKLA provides a relevant, interactive, problem-solving experience in leadership and teamwork that develops self-identity, promotes mutual respect and instills civic responsibility. Boys State is a “learning by doing” political exercise that simulates elections, political parties and government at the state, county and local levels, providing opportunities to lead under pressure, showcasing character and working effectively within a team. It’s also an opportunity to gain pride and respect for government and the price paid by members of the military to preserve democracy.
Among the highlights from the week, Bryce Johnston, a resident of Leawood, and a senior-to-be at as City Christian School in Prairie Village, was elected Boys State of as governor. In addition Alexander Trobough, resident and a senior-to-be at Sumner Academy of Arts and Science, and Rese Wynn, from Piper High School, were elected to represent the Boys State of as at Boys Nation this summer, Friday, July 17, through Friday, July 24, at Marymount University in Arlington, Va.
Jared Meitler, Manhattan, Boys State associate director and liaison and George Rothwell, Overland Park, information technology adviser, shared the Adviser of the Year honor, as selected by fellow Boys State advisers. Logan Gideon, Weir, KSBS News counselor, was named New Counselor of the Year (counselors with three or fewer years’ experience) and Preston Mossman, McPherson, Kennedy County counselor, was named Counselor of the Year (counselors with four or more years’ experience.) Emerson Womble, Overland Park,(attends Blue Valley North High School), received the William “Bill” F. Stahl Outstanding Justice Award, given to the outstanding member of the Boys State of as Supreme Court as voted on by his Supreme Court peers. The award is presented in recognition of outstanding commitment to justice under the law and dedicated service to Boys State. Stahl, of Junction City, passed away in September 2015 and was a longtime supporter of the Boys State.
The 2016 American Legion Boys State of as Leadership Academy is scheduled to be held June 5-10, again at Kansas State University. For information on becoming a delegate, visit http://kansasboysstate.com/ or http://ksbstate.org/.
The following is a list of this year’s area delegates. Those delegates denoted with a star (*) were elected by their as Boys State city as its outstanding citizen: Ellsworth: Jose Moreno Jr., Ellsworth High School, KSBS News Broadcast Team; Jordan Waymaster, Ellsworth High School, Stater’s Union Publishing Team. Sylvan Grove: Tanner Kubick, Sylvan-Lucas High School, King County Commissioner. Wilson: Heath Cox, Wilson High School, People for the American Way Political Action Committee. Windom: Chase Sneath, Inman High School, Secretary of Tourism and Culture. Great Bend: Ryan Broeder, Hoisington High School, Pershing County Commissioner; Josiah Caspers, Ellinwood High School, Department of Human Services; Jacob Dearman, Great Bend High School, Department of Tourism and Culture; Trey Ibarra, Great Bend High School, Bradley County Commissioner; Christian Rivas, Great Bend High School, Department of Justice; Benjamin Witte, Great Bend High School, Kennedy County State Representative; Sam Witte, Great Bend High School, Department of Tourism and Culture; Anson Hall, Great Bend High School, City of Newman City Official. Larned: Jorden Drimmel, Larned High School, Farmers Alliance Political Action Committee; Reed Russum, Larned High School, Seitz County State Representative; Tristan Smith, Larned High School, City of Shelton City Official. Olmitz: Eric Frieb, Otis-Bison High School, Seitz County State Senator. Sterling:Skyler Carder, Sterling High School, Bradley County Commissioner; Brayden Hosman, Sterling High School, Marshall County State Senator; Alex Veliz, Sterling High School, Stater’s Union Publishing Team. Dorrance: Patrick Kepka, Thomas More Prep-Marian High School (Hays,), Farmers Alliance Political Action Committee. Russell: Jacob Sellens, Russell High School, Kennedy County Commissioner
The American Legion Boys State of as Leadership Academy is an interactive simulation that teaches high school seniors-to-be the value of democracy and civic duty. Participants form mock governments and campaign for positions at the city, county and state levels. After the elections, participants find out firsthand the difficult decisions made daily by those in government through a series of challenging simulations. Delegates, nominated to attend by their high school counselors and other influential people in their lives, are sponsored by American Legion posts and various civic organizations from across the state. All delegates demonstrate outstanding leadership qualities in student government, athletics and/or other activities. The Boys State program was founded by Legionnaires Hayes Kennedy and Harold Card in Illinois in 1935, and was first held in as two years later in Wichita. The program moved to the University of Kansas in Lawrence in 1963 and remained there until 1991. The following year, it moved to its current location at Kansas State University in Manhattan. For more information about the American Legion Boys State of as Leadership Academy, visit http://kansasboysstate.com/ or http://ksbstate.org/.