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Local students learn about government at Boys State

Published on Tue, Jul 12, 2011 by JOURNAL STAFF

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Five students represented Lake Stevens High School at the 2010 Boys State leadership conference held from June 13-19 on the Central Washington State University campus in Ellensburg.

High-school juniors Vincent Bruscas, Charlie Hannigan, Alex Johnson, Nick Johnson, and Mackenzie Simon participated in the week-long simulation in government that is often called a leadership action program in practical citizenship. About 250 of the best students from schools around Washington attended “Evergreen Boys State” this year.

All five LSHS students, along with the others, participated as citizens at the local, county, and state levels of government. The first election result early in the week announced Simon as mayor of one of the nine cities. This was exciting news to share with family back home.

Bruscas had “a fantastic time running for lieutenant governor,” and then when he did not win, he “enjoyed being a house representative, being an officer to three committees, and enjoying time with others at Boys State.” This involvement was in addition to the regular participation as a local, county, and state citizen.

“I had a great time at Boys State,” exclaimed Alex Johnson. He and his brother Nick were each elected to the state supreme court.

Hannigan was elected governor. This was a tremendous accomplishment. He also received other honors for his performance at Boys State.

“Boys State unified, connected, and nurtured all of the kids who participated. The friends that I’ve made, and the stories I now have will stay with me forever,” Hannigan said.

All high-school boys are eligible to attend who have completed their junior year with at least one more semester of high school remaining. Mr. Jim Tally, long-time educator at Lake Stevens High School, has served for many years as liaison with LSHS and The American Legion for the Boys and Girls State programs. “Citizens” at Boys State (and Girls State) are selected in a variety of ways, but must demonstrate outstanding leadership, character, scholarship, and loyalty and service to their schools.

The students are eligible to earn four college credits for their efforts because of the depth and scope of the program and the work involved. Their tuition, room and board, and transportation were paid by Lake Stevens Memorial American Legion Post 181 and private donations.

Boys State and Girls State are annual events held in June for high school juniors. Locally, The American Legion and the Legion Auxiliary with assistance from Talley and other LSHS staff have been selecting and sending qualified students for years. For more information visit:   or email:

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