Participants in the American Legion Auxiliary’s 2009 Girls State, held on The University of Southern Mississippi’s Hattiesburg campjus, have voted this week for their elected officials in the fictitious state of “Magnolia.”
Approximately 250 rising high school seniors from across the state took part in the program, which includes a week of activities designed to teach participants about the inner workings of state government and politics, including through campaigns for various offices.
Winners of the top eight elected positions include:
• Governor - Megan Turcotte of Clinton, a student at Clinton High School and the daughter of Jim and Jerry Turcotte.
• Lieutenant Governor – Kimberly Kolpek of Wesson, a student at Wesson High School and the daughter of Suzanne McQuage.
• Secretary of State - Donnebra Bell of Jackson, a student at Murrah High School and daughter of Donnell Bell.
• State Treasurer – Brooke King of Wesson, a student at Wesson High School and the daughter of Scott King.
• State Auditor – Samantha Thrasher of Picayune, a student at Picayune Memorial High School and the daughter of Anne Thrasher.
• Attorney General – Bracey Harris of Byram, a student at Terry High School and the daughter of Royelia Harris
• Commissioner of Insurance – Ihaab Syed of Long Beach, a student at Long Beach High School and the daughter of Dr. Shama Sakir.
• Commissioner of Agriculture – Stephanie Hobson of Byram, a student at Terry High School and the daughter of Karee Pickett.
Girls State officers for 2009 are, from left: Megan Turcotte of Clinton, governor; Kimberly Kolpek of Wesson, lieutenant governor; Donnebra Bell of Jackson, secretary of state; Brooke King of Wesson, state treasurer; Samantha Thrasher of Picayune, state auditor; Bracey Harris of Byram, attorney general; Ihaab Syed, commissioner of insurance; and Stephanie Hobson of Byram, commissioner of agriculture. (Southern Miss Marketing and Public Relations photo by Steve Rouse)
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.