From the San Marcos American Legion Auxiliary
Twelve young women from six Hays County high schools will be participating in the 2008 session of Bluebonnet Girls State June 17 – 24 at Texas Lutheran University in Seguin, thanks to American Legion Auxiliary Unit 144 and participating individual, corporate and organization sponsors.
Texas Bluebonnet Girls State is a mythical 51st state where, for a week, participants organize their own city, county and state governments. They elect their own officials. They learn the duties of the various city, county and state offices. They introduce and debate their own bills in a mock legislature. The program concludes with a visit to the State Capitol building in Austin where the girls are given an opportunity to sight-see and meet state officials.
San Marcos High School’s 2008 Girls State delegates and their sponsors are Ashley Calzada, sponsored by San Marcos High School; Aimee Garcia, sponsored by CenturyTel; and Pam House, sponsored by Frost Bank. Alternate for the San Marcos delegation is Rebecca Pompa.
Delegates from the Jack C. Hays CISD are Hays High School juniors Tamara Crockett, sponsored by Texas Lehigh Cement, and Catherine Jones, sponsored by San Marcos attorney Tom Garner, and Lehman High School juniors Rachel Roca of San Marcos, sponsored by Beth Nelson, Martha Nelson, Amber Schwartz and Theresa Schwartz, and Naomi Arredondo of Kyle, sponsored by Dripping Springs American Legion Post 290. The alternate for Hays High School is Amanda Sandoval.
The Wimberley High School delegate is Jennifer Cloudt of Stonewall, sponsored by Ingram Ready Mix, while the Dripping Springs High School delegate is Sarah Jennings of Austin, sponsored by the Dripping Springs Breakfast Lions Club. From the Katherine Anne Porter High School in Wimberley are delegates Paloma Bermudez of Canyon Lake, Grey Gibson of Dripping Springs and Amber Harmon of San Marcos, all sponsored by the Wimberley Lions Club.
Girls State participants’ emersion into the governing process starts immediately upon their arrival in Seguin. Each student – always referred to as “citizens” during the session – are assigned to a political party, county and a city at registration. Two citizens from Bluebonnet State will be chosen to represent Texas at Girls Nation later in the summer. The basic purpose of the national American Legion Auxiliary program is to educate the young women in the duties, privileges, rights and responsibilities of American citizenship.
Young women sent to Girls State by San Marcos Unit 144 – particularly those from the Hays Consolidated Independent School District – have a remarkable record of success in their participations efforts, says unit Girls State Chair Margie Villalpando.
In 2004, Chelsea Bordovsky of Kyle, then a student at Jack C. Hays High School, was elected governor of Bluebonnet Girls State. After failing to get her party’s state officer nomination, Bordovsky won more than 85 percent of the vote as a write-in candidate.
At the time, Bordovsky was the second student sent by Unit 144 to be elected governor in five years. San Marcos High School student Lauren Rogers was elected governor in 2000. In 1998, Hays graduate Jennifer Hall was elected vice president of Girls Nation.
— PAT MURDOCK