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University Relations

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July 1, 2005
Contact: Missi Schoen, Sunflower Girls State director of publications, (785) 760-3477.

Sunflower Girls State announces officers elected during 63rd session at KU

LAWRENCE -- During the 63rd annual American Legion Auxiliary Sunflower Girls State, 428 high school seniors-to-be studied Kansas government, held a mock legislative session at the state Capitol in Topeka and elected state officials during their activities June 5 through 10 at the University of Kansas.

Becky Sullivan of Paola was chosen governor, heading a 13-member group inaugurated in ceremonies June 9 at the Lied Center. Presiding inaugural officer was Norma Swanson, Gardner, incoming president of the Kansas Department of the American Legion Auxiliary.

Beulah Shafer, Winfield, outgoing state auxiliary president, administered the oath of office to Brittney Kramer, Corning, who was elected chief justice of the Supreme Court, who then swore in the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state treasurer, state commissioner of insurance and six additional Supreme Court justices.

Others participating in inaugural ceremonies included Ernie Cooper, Olathe, commander of the Kansas Department of the American Legion; Rachel Beck, Leawood, and Alpa Baker, Junction City, 2004 Sunflower Girls State governor and lieutenant governor; and Pauline Broockerd, Spring Hill, who represented the Cole- Smith Unit No. 350, Spring Hill, the American Legion Auxiliary that sponsored Becky Sullivan at Girls State.

Kelsey Fowler, Emporia, sponsored by Ball-McClom Unit 5 in Emporia, and Christian Watkins, Chanute, sponsored by Boerstler-May Unit 170 in Chanute, were chosen to represent Kansas as senators at Girls Nation July 23 through 30 in Washington, D.C. Scholarship winners were Jenna Seematter, Marysville, sponsored by SMN&R Unit 163 in Marysville, $350 Sunflower Girls State Alumnae Scholarship, and Andrea Brichacek, Hesston, sponsored by Wayne G. Austin Unit 2 in Newton, $1,000 Samsung Corp. scholarship. As the state Samsung winner, Brichacek is eligible to compete for the $20,000 Samsung national scholarship.

Heidi Blair, Wathena, served as director of 2005 Sunflower Girls State with Claudia Satterlee, Winfield, as assistant director. Delegates and a volunteer staff of about 50 American Legion Auxiliary members and Sunflower Girls State alumnae stayed at Ellsworth Residence Hall at KU. In addition to the Lied Center and Ellsworth, program events were held at the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at KU.

Delegates heard talks by Mary Feighny, Kansas assistant attorney general; Ron Thornburgh, secretary of state; Sandy Praeger, Kansas commissioner of insurance; Lynn Jenkins, state treasurer; Judge G. Joseph Pierron, Kansas Court of Appeals, Lawrence; Shawnee County District Judge Nancy Parrish, Topeka; state Rep. Barbara Ballard, associate director of the Dole Institute, Lawrence; state Rep. Patricia Kilpatrick, Overland Park; and Marlesa Roney, KU vice provost for student success.

In conjunction with Sunflower Girls State, Mary Christine Banwart, KU assistant professor of communication studies, taught "Women in Politics," an optional one credit hour course coordinated by KU Continuing Education, and spoke to all delegates June 6.

Sunflower Girls State was first held at Washburn University in Topeka in 1939. The program moved in 1941 to KU, where it has been every year except 1943 to 1946 because of World War II. Girls State weeklong residency sessions are held in June at colleges and universities throughout the United States, all sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary national patriotic service organization.

Sunflower Girls State officials elected during the 2005 session, their hometowns, parents' names, high schools, offices and sponsoring American Legion Auxiliary posts are:

From Fort Scott
Bailey Gray, daughter of John and Jill Gray; Fort Scott High School; attorney general; Thompson-Harkey Unit No. 25, Fort Scott.

From Girard
Janet Threlfall, daughter of Harry and Deena Willis; Girard High School; lieutenant governor; George C. Brown Unit No. 26, Girard.

From Pittsburg
Julie Scorse, daughter of Ed and Phillis Scorse; Pittsburg High School; Supreme Court justice; Benjamin A. Fuller Unit No. 64, Pittsburg.

From Baldwin City
Lynne Lammers, daughter of Ed Lammers and Jana Jorn; Baldwin High School; Supreme Court justice; Lloyd Beaton Unit No. 228, Baldwin City.
Jessie Sears, daughter of Jim and Melissa Sears; Free State High School, Lawrence; secretary of state; Dorsey-Liberty Unit No. 14, Lawrence.

From Stilwell
Emily Beye, daughter of Bruce and Karen Beye; Blue Valley High School; Supreme Court justice; Dwight Cowles Post No. 370, Overland Park.

From Leavenworth
Fatriziera L. Uitenham; daughter of Fabias and JoAnn Uitenham; Leavenworth Senior High School; state treasurer; Andrew Newton Unit No. 94, Leavenworth.

From Paola
Becky Sullivan, daughter of Ron and Judy Sullivan; Spring Hill High School; governor; Cole-Smith Unit No. 350, Spring Hill.

From Chanute
Kelsey Jarred, daughter of Philip and Karen Jarred; Chanute High School; Supreme Court justice; Boerstler-May Unit No. 170, Chanute.

From Hutchinson
Betsy Dower, daughter of Tad and Mel Dower; Hutchinson High School; Supreme Court justice; Lysle Rishel Unit No. 68, Hutchinson.

From Manhattan
Alyssa Parsons, daughter of Tim and Trish Parsons; Manhattan High School; state commissioner of insurance; Pearce-Keller Unit No. 17, Manhattan.

From Corning
Brittney Kramer, daughter of Ken and Pam Kramer; Centralia High School; Supreme Court justice; Arthur Mills Unit No. 37, Corning.

From Liberal
Jazmin Hernandez, daughter of Martin and Isabel Hernandez; Liberal High School; Supreme Court justice; Sgt. Lawrence M. Wimmer Unit No. 80, Liberal.


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