June 21 2007
McCutcheon High School student Shantaya Ley was elected governor while Erin Nolan of Lafayette Jefferson High School was elected to serve as lieutenant governor.
The elections were a near sweep for the Nationalist Party, who won every race except auditor.
Ley said she knew she had tough competition, and was in a state of shock when her name was called.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I kept thinking Ã¢â‚¬Ëœthis is me!Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really describe the feeling. The election couldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve gone either way,Ã¢â‚¬Â she said.
Ley relied heavily on her people skills during the campaign. The experience may come in handy for the future since sheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s considering a career in either politics or law.
She said she has learned much while participating in the activities, including how to respect differing ideas and opinions.
Hearing the final election results was a happy ending for Nolan, who admitted the best part was learning the final outcome.
Nolan, who hopes to enter the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and go onto flight school, has enjoyed the experience and will come away with a wide circle of friends.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“In just a short time, I got to know all the girls in my city and it feels like IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve known them all my life. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve made some lifelong friends,Ã¢â‚¬Â she said.
During the weeklong experience of American governmental operations, the girls are assigned to either the Nationalist or Federalist political party and take part in the creation of a mythical Ã¢â‚¬Å“51stÃ¢â‚¬Â state, Hoosier Girls State.
In addition to the political primer, the girls learn about governmental operations at the city, county and state levels, as well as the duties of each associated office.
Those elected to state offices include:
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Secretary of State: Taylor Ruby-Gagan, Wheeler High School, daughter of Jim and Laurie Gagan of Valparaiso, sponsored by District #2, Unit 502.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Auditor: Kristen Allen, South Newton High School, daughter of Lori Salciunas and Darrell Allen of Brook, sponsored by District #2, Unit 23.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Treasurer: Alexandria Voignier, Silver Creek High School, daughter of Jennifer Smith of Sellersburg, sponsored by District #8, Unit 204.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Attorney General: Marie Gutwein, Twin Lakes High School, daughter of Brad and Kaye Gutwein of Monticello, sponsored by District #2, Unit 81.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Superintendent of Public Instruction: Ryan Thomas, Bishop Chatard High School, daughter of Rodney and Penny Thomas of Indianapolis, sponsored by District #11, Unit 34.
Contact and writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications & Marketing, (812) 237-3783 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Two Tippecanoe County girls swept the top two positions for state office during elections of the 66th session of Hoosier Girls State (HGS) at Indiana State University Thursday.