Hays students to head for Girls State June 16
Nine young women from six Hays County high schools have been selected to represent San Marcos American Legion Auxiliary Unit 144 at the 2013 session of Bluebonnet Girls State, scheduled June 16-22 at Texas Lutheran University in Seguin.
The Hays County teens will be among some 500 girls who attend the American Legion Auxiliary's government-in-action program. All participants will have just completed their junior year of high school.
Delegates chosen from San Marcos High School are Vianey Villalpando, sponsored by John and Chloe Navarrette and Nikki Sanchez, sponsored by Frost Bank. Alternate for SMHS is Carlianne Rios.
The delegate chosen from San Marcos Academy is Kendall Nighbert, sponsored by Ingram Readymix. Alternate for San Marcos Academy is Megan Pizana.
The Jack C. Hays High School delegates are Emily Beyer of Buda, sponsored by Texas Lehigh Cement, and Caitlin Corich of Kyle, sponsored by San Marcos attorney Tom Garner.
Delegate from the Hays district's Lehman High School is Angelica Aguirre of Kyle, sponsored by Texas Lehigh Cement. Alternate for both Hays and Lehman is Hays student Calais Galbraith of Austin
Delegates from Wimberley High School are Bailey Mills of Johnson City and Hannah Raska of Wimberley, sponsored by the Wimberley Lions Club. Cydney Piersol of San Marcos, the delegate selected from the Katherine Anne Porter High School in Wimberley, is also sponsored by the Wimberley Lions Club. The alternate for Wimberley High School is Eliza Van Overschelde of Wimberley while the alternate for KAP is Devon Ellis of Austin.
Two of San Marcos Unit 144's 2012 delegates – Vaughn Houser and Misty Williamson, now seniors at San Marcos High School – returned to share their experiences as Girls State citizens at an orientation held for the 2013 delegates and their parents. In addition to sharing practical pointers such as what clothes to take for the summer program, they discussed the learning aspects, the friendships built and the patriotism fostered by their experience.
“Again, we have an impressive group of young ladies nominated for Girls State by their teachers at these Hays County high schools. All those we interviewed reflect so well on today's youth. We have a good record for our girls doing well at Girls State. It's time we had another governor!,” Lois Stuart, president of San Marcos Unit 144, said.
Margie Villalpando, Unit 144's Girls State chairman, notes that the corporate, organizational and individual sponsors make it possible for the young ladies who represent San Marcos Unit 144 to participate in the Bluebonnet Girls State experience.
Texas Bluebonnet Girls State is a mythical 51st state where, for a week, participants organize their own city, county and state governments. They elect their own officials. They learn the duties of the various city, county and state offices. They introduce and debate their own bills in a mock legislature. The program will include a visit to the State Capitol in Austin on Friday, June 21, where they have a chance to sight-see and meet state officials.
The purpose of Girls State is to educate young women in the duties, privileges, rights and responsibilities of American citizenship.
In 2008, Amber “Kera” Harmon of San Marcos, a senior at the Katherine Anne Porter School in Wimberley, was elected governor. Chelsea Bordovsky of Kyle, then a student at Jack C. Hays High School, was elected governor in 2004.
San Marcos High School student Lauren Rogers was elected governor in 2000 and, in 1998, Hays graduate Jennifer Hall was elected governor and advanced to Girls Nation where she was elected vice president.