By SHERRY DIGMON
As is the custom, American Legion Post 90 and the Auxiliary hosted a program honoring delegates to Boys and Girls State. Last year, State was cancelled due to Covid, so some of this year’s delegates were actually selected to go last year.
Boys State delegates were as follows:
Escambia County High School: Bryson T. Williams, Sheldon J. Williams
Escambia Academy: Brady A. Howell, Ja’Daniel Nettles
Flomaton High School: Charles L. Henley, Logan G. Blancheri, William L. Morgan, Timothy N. Turner.
Girls State delegates 2020 and 2021 were as follows:
Escambia Academy: Lillian Bonner (’20), Jamison James (’21)
Escambia County High School: Breanna McGowan (’20), Jy’Kenia Wilson (’21)
Flomaton High School: Carli Alcaniz (’20), Mackenzie Morrison (’21)
Only six delegates (and their families) of the14 attended the program at the Legion Thursday night. School administrators on hand were principal George Brown and counselor DeAnna Ross, both from Flomaton High School. Mayor Jim Staff and Mayor Pro Tem Shawn Lassiter were also in attendance.
Following a welcome from Commander Dave Graham and invocation by Chaplain Jack Wright, Auxiliary Vice President Sondra McKinley and Boys State Legion coordinator Billy Elder introduced the delegates who spoke briefly.
Jamison Janes said she wasn’t planning to run for anything at Girls State but she ran for county commission and won “surprisingly.” “They told us Girls State would be a life-changing experience,” Jamison said. “Later in the week, I realized it was.”
Ja’Daniel Nettles said he really didn’t expect Boys State to be good, but it was. Ja’Daniel said he won his election and made friends. “It was an overall good experience.”
Brady Howell said he learned a lot at Boys States. He thanked the Legion for the opportunity to attend.
Timothy Turner admitted he really didn’t know what Boys State was when he went. “They told us it was not just learning politics,” he said. “By Thursday, I had made lasting friendships, and we have 32 in a group chat now.” Timothy ran for the state board of education and won. Then he ran for the House of Representatives and won, so he had to drop the school board. Timothy met Katie Britt, candidate for Senator Richard Shelby’s seat, and signed up for the Katie Britt Youth Initiative.
Charlie Henley said he appreciated the counselors at Boys State allowing the delegates to make their own decisions.
Logan G. Blancheri said he most enjoyed making new friends and staying at the University of Alabama. As a member of city council at Boys State, he worked on ordinances. He said it made him appreciate the hard work and dedication of city leaders.
Billy Elder announced that next year’s Boys State will be held at Troy University.