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USM hosting 71st American Legion Auxiliary Magnolia Girls State June 2-7

Wed, 05/29/2019 - 10:25am

The 71st session of the American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) Magnolia Girls State program will be held June 2-7 at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) in Hattiesburg.

The weeklong event allows rising high school seniors from across the state to come to learn about how our representative democracy works in federal, state and local governments through simulated political campaigns, legislative and judicial processes, city and county governments in the fictitious state of “Magnolia.”

State and local government elected and non-elected officials, as well as those serving in the military and law enforcement and emergency services, serve as guest speakers to discuss public service, issues of the day, and how the average citizen can make a difference through their participation in our representative democracy.

The schedule of guest speakers for Magnolia Girls State is as follows, with the majority of events slated to be held in USM's Thad Cochran Center (TCC):

Commander Zeita Merchant, U.S. Coast Guard, will speak at the Opening Ceremonies on Sunday afternoon, June 2, at 4 p.m. at the Thad Cochran Center (TCC) Ballrooms 1 and 2 on the 3rd floor.

Rebecca Rutz, Parliamentary Procedure Basics presenter, Sunday, June 2, 6:30-7:30 p.m., TCC Ballrooms 1 and 2.

Agnes Dalton, Party Caucus workshop presenter, Monday, June 3, 10-11 a.m., Ballrooms 1 and 2.

Attorney General Jim Hood will speak at 1 p.m., Monday, June 3.

Lt. Latasha Myers-Mitchell, Hattiesburg Police Dept., to present Women's Awareness and Response (WAR), on Monday, June 3, 4 p.m. at TCC Ballrooms 1 and 2.

State Treasurer Lynn Fitch will speak on Tuesday, June 4, at 3 p.m. at TCC Ballrooms 1 and 2.

Steve Guyton, PR for American Legion and Military Academies Liaison in Mississippi, to speak to delegates at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 5, in the TCC Ballrooms 1 and 2.

Christy Pickering CPA, Former IHL Board Member and Girls State Alumna, will speak on Wednesday, June 5 at 10:30 a.m. in TCC Ballrooms 1 and 2.

College Day for Girls State from 1 to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, June 5, 3rd floor lobby area and Ballroom 3.

Johnny Poulos, Miss. Highway Patrol, will present on Wednesday, June 5 at 3 p.m., TCC Ballrooms 1-2.

• Administer Oath of Office to 2019 ALA Magnolia Girls State Officials by the Mississippi Supreme Court Justice, the Honorable Dawn Beam on Wednesday, June 5, at 4:30 p.m. in TCC Ballrooms 1/2.

• On Thursday, June 6, the Top Eight elected officials and several counselors will leave for Jackson around 8 a.m. to visit their respective counterpart State officials.

Thursday Break-Out Sessions on June 6 will host presentations by a variety of local city officials.

Representative Jeramey Anderson and Senator John Polk will work with the Magnolia Girls State House and Senate and Municipal Judge Gay L. Polk-Payton will work the Mock Court on Thursday, June 6, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in TCC Ballrooms 1-2 (House) and 3 (Senate) and TCC 210 (a.m.) and 216 (p.m.) (Court).


City Officials: TCC 216

Mayor – Toby Barker (Hattiesburg), 9-9:40 a.m.

City Councilwoman—Mary Dryden (Hattiesburg), 9:40-10:20 a.m.

City Clerk – Mary Ann Hess (Laurel), 10:20-10:50 a.m.

Fire Chief – Sherrocko Stewart, Fire Chief and Danny Wade, Asst. Fire Chief (Hattiesburg), 10:50-11:30 a.m.

Law Enforcement: TCC 214

Sheriff/County – Phillip Hendricks, (Forrest Co.), 9-40 a.m.

Special Guest Speaker – Casey Hendricks, Center for Violence Prevention (Tower Program), 9:40-10 a.m.

Police/City – Ray Barrett (Fulton), 10:10-11 a.m.

Mississippi Highway Patrol —Travis Luck, 11-11:30 a.m.

County: TCC 218

Tax Collector—Gary Beach (Pearl River County), 9-9:30 a.m.

Chancery Clerk—Jimmy Havard (Forrest County), 9:30-10 a.m.

Supervisor—Phillip Carlisle (Lamar County), 10-10:30 a.m.

Tax Assessor—Mary Ann Palmer (Forrest County), 10:30-11 a.m.

Circuit Clerk—Martin Hankins (Lamar County), 11-11:30 a.m.

Courts: TCC 210 (9 a.m.-noon) and Mock Court in TCC 216 (1-3 p.m.)

Honorable Gay L. Polk-Payton, Municipal Court Judge Pro Tempore for Hattiesburg

Senate and House: TCC Ballrooms 1 and 2 (Senate) and Ballroom 3 (House) (9 a.m.-3 p.m.): Rep. Jeramey Anderson and Sen. John Polk.

• Closing ceremonies/Graduation on Friday, June 7, at 8:30 a.m. at Bennett Auditorium on the USM Hattiesburg campus.

For more information about Girls State, contact Angela Kilcrease at