MANHATTAN — More than 430 young men from across the State of Kansas, all of whom will enter their senior year of high school this fall, participated in the 2017 session of the American Legion Boys State of Kansas Leadership Academy. The event, in its 80th year, was held June 4-9 at Kansas State University in Manhattan for the 26th 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, Alex Thill, a resident of Overland Park, Kan., and a senior-to-be at Blue Valley Northwest High School, was elected Boys State of Kansas governor. In addition, Ryan Harra, a resident of Olathe, Kan., and a senior-to-be at Olathe North High School, and Carson Krakar, also of Olathe, and a senior-to-be at Olathe Northwest High School, were elected by their peers to represent Boys State of Kansas at Boys Nation this summer, Friday, July 21, through Friday, July 28, at Marymount University in Arlington, Va.
Zach Fabin, Lawrence, Kan. (home schooled) 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, Kan., passed away in September 2015 and was a longtime supporter of the ALBSKLA.
John Lindholm, Manhattan, Kan., was named Adviser of the Year, as selected by fellow Kansas Boys State advisers. Lindholm, a 1949 Kansas State University graduate and a World War II veteran, has been a longtime Legionnaire adviser to Kansas Boys State.
Nathan Short, Paola, Kan., a 2011 KBS delegate from Paola High School, who served as the county counselor for Kennedy County this year, and Jonathan Volker, Lenexa, Kan., a 2011 KBS delegate from Shawnee Mission Northwest High School, who served as a media/photography counselor this year, were each named Counselor of the Year (counselors with four or more years’ experience), and Scott Ring, Hays, Kan., a 2015 KBS delegate from Hays High School, who served as an information technology counselor this year, was named New Counselor of the Year (counselors with three or fewer years’ experience).
The 2018 American Legion Boys State of Kansas Leadership Academy is scheduled to be held Sunday, June 3, through Friday, June 8, 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 ALBSKLA northwest Kansas delegates. Those delegates denoted with a star (*) were elected by their Kansas Boys State city as its outstanding citizen:
(Name, High School, Boys State Elected/Appointed Position – all cities/high schools in Kansas unless noted)
• Glenn Marihugh, Rock Hills High School, King County Representative
• Spencer Heise, Osborne High School, Department of Natural Resources Staff
• Rody Schofield, Sylvan-Lucas High School, Powell County Representative
• Lukas Sebesta, Ellsworth High School, City of Finley Councilman
• Grant Weinhold, Wilson High School, City of Hasler Councilman
• Caleb Karst, Pawnee Heights High School, City of Bramlage Councilman
• Michael Braun, Thomas More Prep-Marian High School, City of Raymond Councilman
• * Brendan Chapman, Hays High School, City of Raymond Councilman
• Drew Morley, Hays High School, City of Hiatt Councilman
• Dawson Rooney, Hays High School, MacArthur County Commissioner
• Jacob Kraus, Russell High School, Powell County Representative
• Bryce Niermeier, Colby High School, MacArthur County Representative
• Jordan Janicke, Cheylin High School, City of Newman Councilman