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June 13, 2014

Seven from area attend Oklahoma Girls State

DUNCAN — Seven girls from the Stephens County area spent a week learning about Oklahoma government, while doing something only a select number of girls get to do each year.

They participated in the annual Girls State program, which is designed to give the students a better understanding of government through class lessons and mock elections. All of those selected to participate this year are heading into their senior year of high school. Girls State is a program under direction of the American Legion Auxiliary in Oklahoma. Those who attended from Stephens County did so through American Legion Post 55.

The teens included five who attend Duncan High School: Alex Bowers, Carly Kirkland, Savannah Martin, Marisa Moore and Hannah Scott; one from Central High, Brooklyn Huff; and one from Walters, Dakota Barbee. The latter two were selected through their participation at Red River Technology Center.

Last year, three girls from Duncan participated, including two junior counselors from this year’s program. Those junior counselors included Sydney Henricks, who was elected governor through the mock election, and Aubrey Mouser, who was elected as the state superintendent of public instruction. Other counselors from Duncan included Kelsey Martin and Kaitlyn Loafman.

“Oklahoma Girls State was first held in 1940 and has been conducted annually by the American Legion Auxiliary, except for two years during World War II,” according to this year’s Oklahoma Girls State program. “Oklahoma Girls State was the first in the nation to have its educational program accredited. Since its inception, more than 30,000 girls have received this valuable citizenship training in Oklahoma.”

Former Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Jari Askins was among the speakers for the Girls State program this year. Askins participated in Girls State when she was in high school.

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