MANHATTAN — Approximately 400 young men from across the state, all of whom will enter their senior year of high school this fall, participated in the 2018 session of the American Legion Boys State of Kansas Leadership Academy. The event, in its 81st year, was held June 3-8 at Kansas State University in Manhattan for the 27th consecutive year.
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, Chayne Dessaso, a resident of Leavenworth and a senior-to-be at Leavenworth High School, was elected Boys State of Kansas governor. In addition, Mark McAllister, a resident of Americus and a home schooled (via Wisdom Academy) senior-to-be, and Hap Waddell, a resident of Marion and a senior-to-be at Marion High School, were elected by their peers to represent Boys State of Kansas at Boys Nation July 20-27 at Marymount University in Arlington, Va.
Jordan Watson, Gladstone, Mo., who was a 2005 KBS delegate from Cheney High School, was named Adviser of the Year, as selected by fellow Kansas Boys State advisers. Watson served as the judicial branch adviser this year.
E.J. Charboneau, Lebo, a 2014 KBS delegate from Lebo High School, who served as the head courts counselor, was named Counselor of the Year (counselors with four or more years’ experience). Nathan Lipinski, Wichita, a 2015 KBS delegate from Bishop Carroll High School in Wichita, who served as the head senate counselor this year, was named New Counselor of the Year (counselors with three or fewer years’ experience).
Caleb Haselhuhn, Burlington, attends Burlington High School, was named the Kansas Boys State winner of the Samsung American Legion Scholarship. Haselhuhn receives a guaranteed $1,250 scholarship and advances to be considered as a National Scholar for the chance to earn up to a $10,000 scholarship. Haselhuhn was a chairman for the Nationalist Party during the week.
Salahudeen Mirza, Overland Park, attends Blue Valley High School, received the William “Bill” F. Stahl Outstanding Justice Award, given to the outstanding member of the Boys State of Kansas 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 of Kansas. Stahl, of Junction City, passed away in September 2015 and was a longtime supporter of the ALBSKLA.
Michael Conaway, Topeka, attends Seaman High School, was named the Outstanding Senator (representing Pershing County), and Dane Thompson, Scandia, attends Pike Valley High School, was named the Outstanding Representative (representing Marshall County).
The 2019 American Legion Boys State of Kansas Leadership Academy is scheduled to be held June 2-7, again at Kansas State University. For information on becoming a delegate, visit http://kansasboysstate.com/ or http://ksbstate.org/.
Area ALBSKLA delegates include: Ellsworth: Grant Gwinner, City of Newman Councilman; Bransen Schulte, City of Chastain Councilman; Lincoln: Hunter Meier, City of Haney Councilman; Lindsborg: Christopher Mullen, KSBS News Staff; Josh Peterson, Marshall County District Court Official; Ellinwood: Alex Hammeke, Stater Radio Staff and Outstanding Citizen for the City of Schrag; Great Bend: Geoffrey Pafford, City of Lane Mayor; Cordell Stanley, City of Werring Councilman; Hoisington: A.J. Roberts, City of Bley Councilman; Larned: Andrew Bright, City of Johnson Councilman; Logan DeMond, Party Chairman; Dalton Penka, City of Hiatt Councilman; Lyons: Jesse Bates, City of O’Leary Councilman; Ness City: Landon Reinhardt, KSBS News Staff, Outstanding Citizen for the City of Gardner; Pawnee Rock: Jason Anderson, City of Whorley Councilman; Sterling: William Weiner, City of Finley Councilman; Russell: Kyler Fritschen, Powell County Representative; Samuel Ochs, City of Icenogle Councilman.