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McPherson High Student Elected Governor at Kansas Boys State

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MCPHERSON, Kan. – Samuel Houston, a resident of McPherson, Kan., and a senior-to-be at McPherson High School, has been elected governor of the 2023 session of the American Legion Boys State of Kansas. The announcement was made this evening during the Kansas Boys State evening retreat at Kansas State University in Manhattan.

Houston, the Federalist Party candidate, and his lieutenant governor running mate, Shawn Sullivan, Leavenworth, Kan., a senior-to-be at Leavenworth High School, won the election over the Nationalist Party team of Hayden Slough, a resident of Lawrence, Kan., and a senior-to-be at Bishop Seabury Academy in Lawrence, and his lieutenant governor running mate, Chetan Thomas, Leawood, Kan., a senior-to-be at The Barstow School, Kansas City, Mo.

Election results for other state offices:
(Name, Hometown, Year in High School / High School Attend – all cities/high schools in Kansas unless noted)
          •  Secretary of State — Cody Peng, Federalist, Overland Park, a senior-to-be at Blue Valley Northwest High School, defeated Colton Prettyman, Nationalist, Louisburg, a junior-to-be at Louisburg High School
          •  Attorney General — Adiel Garcia II, Nationalist, Olathe, senior-to-be at Spring Hill High School, defeated Jaren Rains, Federalist, Weskan, senior-to-be at Wallace County High School
          •  State Treasurer — Parker Massey, Nationalist, Baldwin City, senior-to-be at Olathe West High School, defeated Matthew Newbold, Federalist, Overland Park, junior-to-be at Pembroke Hill School, Kansas City, Mo.
          •  Commissioner of Insurance — Tej Patel, Nationalist, Topeka, senior-to-be at Washburn Rural High School, defeated Jasper Kimball, Federalist, Andover, senior-to-be at Andover High School

Kansas Boys State Governor Houston will give his inaugural address tomorrow (Wednesday, June 7) at 8 p.m. at K-State’s McCain Auditorium. The event will conclude with the Kansas Boys State band, chorus and talent show.

The evening’s festivities kickoff at 7:30 p.m. with a flag retirement ceremony at the World War II Memorial in front of McCain Auditorium. The event is an observance of the proper respect for the American flag and how unserviceable flags are properly disposed. The Kansas Boys State delegates from across the state will be in attendance during this ceremony, as well as the honor guard from the American Legion Pearce-Keller Post No.17 in Manhattan, which will be presenting the ceremony. Dr. John Lindholm, a 1949 KSU graduate who provided the dog tags as a model for the “Tags of Honor” sculpture at the Memorial, was a longtime Kansas Boys State staff member as a Legionnaire advisor before passing away in January 2020. Both events on Wednesday night are open to the public. (Media note: This event is a great photo/video opportunity.)

High school students from across the State of Kansas are participating in the 2023 session of the American Legion Boys State of Kansas, which started on June 4 and ends Saturday, June 10, at Kansas State University in Manhattan. This is the program’s 31st consecutive session at KSU and 85th overall. The Kansas Boys State program includes students who have just completed their junior year of high school (will be seniors in the fall) and sophomore year of high school (will be juniors in the fall).

The objective of the ALBSK is to inculcate a sense of individual obligation to community, state and nation. Kansas Boys State 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.

— #KSBoysState —

The American Legion Boys State of Kansas 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 Kansas two years later in Wichita. The Kansas 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 Kansas, visit ksbstate.org.