American Legion Boys State of Kansas Leadership Academy Concludes 2016 Session

July 21, 2016 — More than 480 young men from across the State of Kansas, all of whom will enter their senior year of high school this fall, participated in the 2016 session of the American Legion Boys State of Kansas Leadership Academy. The event, in its 79th year, was held June 5-10 at Kansas State University in Manhattan for the 25th 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, Grant Daily, a resident of Wichita, Kan., and a senior-to-be at Andover (Kan.) Central High School, was elected Boys State of Kansas governor. In addition, Jared Long, a Beloit, Kan., resident and a senior-to-be at Beloit High School, and Mason Witzke, of Topeka, Kan., Topeka West High School, were elected to represent Boys State of Kansas at Boys Nation this summer, Friday, July 22, through Friday, July 29, at Marymount University in Arlington, Va. Patrick Bircher, Lansing, Kan. (attends Lansing 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 the Boys State of Kansas. Stahl, of Junction City, Kan., passed away in September 2015 and was a longtime supporter of the Boys State of Kansas.
Troy Fowler, Wichita, Kan., who serves Boys State of Kansas year-round as director of operations, was named Adviser of the Year, as selected by fellow Kansas Boys State advisers. John Shively, Coffeyville, Kan., who served as head IT counselor, was named Counselor of the Year (counselors with four or more years’ experience), and Chris Moe, Leavenworth, Kan., who served as city counselor for the City of Klassen, was named New Counselor of the Year (counselors with three or fewer years’ experience).
The 2017 American Legion Boys State of Kansas Leadership Academy is scheduled to be held June 4-9, again at Kansas State University. For information on becoming a delegate, visit or
Baxter Springs: Preston Hamilton, Baxter Springs High School, City of O’Leary City Official; Drake Shaw, Baxter Springs High School, Department of Justice Member; Jacob Williams, Baxter Springs High School, Marshall County Commissioner
Columbus: Luke Laws, Columbus High School, Department of Transportation Member.
Riverton: Trevor Elliott, Riverton High School, Department of Commerce Member.
Scammon: Toby Danner, Columbus Unified High School, Kennedy County Commissioner.


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