Girls State officers announced by USD

The University of South Dakota at Vermillion recently hosted the South Dakota American Legion Auxiliary’s Girls State events. The winners:

“Ruhama Tereda of Sioux Falls was elected the 2017 ALA SD Girls State Governor. Margaret Fouberg of Aberdeen was elected Lieutenant Governor.

“Additional state officer elections included Ashlynn Burk of Willow Lake as Attorney General; Nareen Barwari of Sioux Falls as Secretary of State; Haylee Ecklein of Salem as State Auditor; Carolyn Blatchford of Brookings as State Treasurer; Jada Tschetter of Brandon as Commissioner of School and Public Lands. Elected to the Public Utilities Commission were Libby Bailey of Bridgewater, Kate Budig of Yankton and Amanda Haas of Tabor.

“Eda Uzunlar of Rapid City and Samantha Gortmaker of Pierre were chosen as delegates to represent South Dakota at the American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation in Washington, D.C., with Anneliese Taggart of Vermillion and Kia Witt of Brookings serving as alternates.

“Morgan Kohl of Watertown was selected as the 2017 recipient of the Samsung American Legion Scholarship. Regan Stone of Dell Rapids was awarded the Bonnie Slade Memorial Scholarship, Bethany Wynia of Avon was award the Helen Gottlesben Memorial Scholarship, and Haleigh Bebbington of Pringle received the Travis Memorial Scholarship.

“Officer Elections and Awards
Meredith Costello of Sioux Falls – Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
Caitlyn Speier of Rapid City – Supreme Court Justice
Mya VonBank of Sioux Falls – Supreme Court Justice
Melissa Mikkelson of Vermillion – Supreme Court Justice
Heather Selleck of Brookings – Supreme Court Justice
Caitlynn McGregor of Salem – Supreme Court Justice
Bess Seaman of Warner – Supreme Court Justice
Anneliese Taggart of Vermillion – Speaker of the House of Representatives
Morgan Gosch of Sioux Falls – House of Representatives Majority Leader
Abigail Anderson of Sturgis – House of Representatives Minority Leader
Avery Scott of Sioux Falls – Senate President Pro Tempore
Allision Severson of Ipswich – Senate Majority Leader
Heidi Stiklestad of Java – Senate Minority Leader
Makayla DeDeyne of De Smet – Nationalist Party Chairwoman
Eda Uzunlar of Rapid City – Nationalist Party keynote speaker
Aine Crinion of Brookings – Federalist Party Chairwoman
Samantha Murtha of Dimock – Federalist Party keynote speaker
Lucy Dekkenga of Sioux Falls – outstanding journalist award
Aine Crinion of Brookings – highest citizen’s exam score
Hannah Sumption of Frederick – outstanding ALA SD ALA Girls State citizen
Leah Waid of Yankton – outstanding speaker
Kirstyn Bohn of Meckling – outstanding speaker of the Senate
Aine Crinion of Brookings – outstanding speaker of the House
Kristyn Albrecht of Yankton- outstanding prosecuting attorney
Ann Madson of Sioux Falls – outstanding defense attorney
Natalie Montoya of Rapid City – outstanding appellant attorney
Brianna Zimmer of Sioux Falls – outstanding appellee attorney
Kacie Mudder of Avon – outstanding forensic investigator.”

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About Bob Mercer

I am a newspaper reporter in Pierre where I cover state government, issues and politics for the Aberdeen American News, the Black Hills Pioneer, the Mitchell Daily Republic, the Pierre Capital Journal, the Rapid City Journal, the Watertown Public Opinion and the Yankton Press & Dakotan. I began covering the Legislature in 1985 and have lived in Pierre since December 1986. I grew up in Wisconsin, worked my way through college, took my first full-time newspapers jobs in Wyoming, and have lived in South Dakota since the summer of 1984 when I moved to Aberdeen to join the American News. I worked for the Rapid City Journal as its state government reporter in Pierre from late 1992 through late 1998. I spent four years as press secretary and a senior aide to Gov. Bill Janklow during his fourth and final term from late 1998 through 2002. I returned to journalism in January 2003 as a self-employed reporter, providing state government coverage to the Mitchell, Watertown, Spearfish, Pierre and, depending on the year, Aberdeen newspapers. In 2008, the Aberdeen American News offered to hire me as full-time member of the AAN staff, with my reports continuing to be available to the Mitchell, Watertown, Spearfish, Pierre, Yankton and Rapid City papers. The new arrangement has been in effect since January 2009 as the seven papers continue their remarkable dedication to their readers and the general public, as the only South Dakota news outlets with a full-time reporter covering state government in Pierre throughout the year. In addition to focusing on the Legislature during the annual winter session and its various activities during the interim periods between sessions, I spend many days throughout the year -- traveling as often necessary -- to cover state government boards and commissions which oversee the state universities, technical institutes, outdoors, water, environment, business, public schools, banking, agriculture, utilities, health care and various other areas of public interest. I purposely don't register to vote because of my profession; the last time I recall voting in a presidential election was the first time, 1976, when I had just turned 18. I think I voted for Jimmy Carter over Gerald Ford. Make of that what you want, just don't make much of it.

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