More than 450 young men from across the State of Kansas, all of whom will enter their senior year of high school this fall, participated in the 2015 session of the American Legion Boys State of Kansas Leadership Academy (ALBSKLA). The event, in its 78th year, was held May 31 through June 6 at Kansas State University in Manhattan.
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.
Several local students attended the week-long event and were elevated to a variety of offices. They include
•  Grant Hansen, Gardner-Edgerton High School, King County District Attorney
•  Brady Maguire, Gardner-Edgerton High School, Department of Commerce
•  Ethan Martin, Spring Hill High School, Department of Education
•  Tyler Quigley, Gardner-Edgerton High School, Department of Labor
•  David Shute, Gardner-Edgerton High School, Department of Education
•  Thomas Wilkinson, Gardner-Edgerton High School, Powell County State Senator
•  Colin McCormick, Spring Hill (Kan.) High School, Department of Veteran Affairs
• C.J. Williams, Spring Hill High School, Department of Health and Environment
The 2016 American Legion Boys State of Kansas Leadership Academy is scheduled to be held June 5-10 again at Kansas State University.