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Paynesville Press - April 17, 2002

Hemingson chosen as Girls Stater at PAHS

By Michael Jacobson

Girls Staters Junior Kayla Hemingson (front right) was chosen as the Girls Stater last week by the American Legion Auxiliary. She will attend Girls State, a week-long camp at Bethel College in the Twin Cities from June 9-15.

Junior Mindy Meagher (back left) was selected as the alternate this year.

The American Legion did not receive any essays from junior boys, so there will not be a Boys Stater.

The girls submitted 500-word essays and were interviewed by a committee last week. Both girls chose Sept. 11, 2001, as their essay topic. Read their essays from the Viewpoint page.

"It's a really high honor," said Hemingson of her selection. "After Sept. 11, it really struck me to write an essay."

Kayla is the daughter of Neil Hemingson and Joy Hemingson. At Paynesville Area High School, she serves as a peer tutor, peer helper, and PALS role model.

Her friend, Jennifer Bruntlett, last year's Girls Stater, told her Girls State is a lot of fun. At the week-long camp, participants learn about government and citizenship by participating in mock governments.

"I really like government and government classes, so I thought it would be a good experience," said Kayla. "I'm excited for it," she added.

Mindy is the daughter of Pat and Lorie Meagher. At PAHS, she is a PALS role model and participates in basketball, volleyball, Business Professionals of America (BPA), and band. She was inducted into the National Honor Society on Monday night.

She credits her brother, Casey, who was a Boys Stater, for her interest, because he had fun at camp. "I did think it would be a good opportunity," she said.

Both Hemingson and Meagher will have duties at school and at events during the coming year. Staters and alternates normally participate in ceremonies on Memorial Day and Veteran's Day.

At school, they will participate at baccalaureate (but not graduation, since Hemingson will be at Girls State). They will also read daily announcements at the high school and be responsible for the American flag at the high school.

Last year's Girls and Boys Staters were Jennifer Bruntlett and Scott Buermann; alternates were Becky Schaumann and Craig Thomes.

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