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Girls State at USD concludes with elections award presentations

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The 67th annual South Dakota American Legion Auxiliary’s Girls State concluded earlier this month at the University of South Dakota with the traditional election of officers and presentation of awards.

Haley Hansen of Watertown and Alexis Logue of Volin were chosen as delegates to represent South Dakota at The American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation in Washington, D.C. (Danielle Miller of Hot Springs and Tiara Tingle of Brandon are alternates) while Shawna German of Howard was selected as the 2013 recipient of a $1,000 Samsung American Legion Scholarship. Laura Kelm of White was awarded the Bonnie Slade Memorial Scholarship and Amy Zeller of Elk Point received the Travis Memorial Scholarship.

Madison Mead of Sioux Falls was elected 2013 Girls State Governor and Kayla Koterwski of Tea was elected Lt. Governor. Additional elections included Tiara Tingle of Brandon, Attorney General; Makayla Disburg of Sioux Falls, Secretary of State; Julianna Albrecht of Howard, State Auditor; Brooke Olson of Aberdeen, State Treasurer; Sadie Swier of Hartford, Commissioner of School and Public Lands. Elected to the Public Utilities Commission were Logan Miller of Chester, and Yunan Shi of Sioux Falls and Sydney Sleep of Spearfish.

In non-political elections, Girls State delegates elected Molly Gray of Sioux Falls, Katie Rodig of Yankton, Amber Livingston of Yankton, Jenny Hofer of Salem, Audra Garrigan of Sioux Falls, Abby Schulte of Yankton as six justices to serve on the Supreme Court. Erin Buse of Veblen was elected as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Baylee Dittman of Spearfish was chosen as the Speaker of the House of Representatives while Elizabeth Klock of Chancellor was selected as the Nationalist Party Chair and Zarin Rahman of Brookings as the Nationalist Party Keynote Speaker. The Federalist Party elected Hope Goode of Sherman as keynote speaker and the Federalist Party elected Kianna Snyder of Rapid City as party chair. Tia Goebel of Custer was the recipient of the outstanding journalist award and Samantha Jungers of Watertown and Tory Makela of Ipswich received the highest exam score. Courtney DeLong of Box Elder captured outstanding speaker honors and Megan Larsen of Wolsey was selected as the Outstanding Girls State Citizen. Elizabeth E. Anderson of Bowdle was selected Outstanding Speaker of the Senate and Maggie O’Brien of Watertown was Outstanding Speaker of the House.

Awards were also presented to Kathleen Meredith of Sioux Falls, Best Circuit Court Judge; Elizabeth Day of Belle Fourche, Best Prosecuting Attorney; Natalie Gronlund of Winner, Best Defense Attorney; Lynsey Prosser of Sturgis, Best Appellate Attorney; Alliyah Greaver of Yankton, Best Appellee Attorney; Kayla Breske of Waubay, Outstanding Forensic Investigator; Abbey Burtis of Sioux Falls, President of Citizens Forum; and Brittany Reimnitz of Mitchell received the Vice President Citizens Forum award.

Under the direction of Girls State Director Cheryl Hovorka, Girls State featured 428 girls entering their senior year of high school this fall. Participants were selected from across the state based on scholastic achievement, leadership skills and interest in government.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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Hanna DeLange
USD News