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With Strong Showing at Regional, 25 MISD Youth and Government Students are Headed to State—and One to Washington, D.C.

Press Release|
Shane Mauldin|
Monday, December 16, 2019

McKinney, Texas – Since 2012, teams of civic-minded McKinney ISD high school and middle school students have explored the ins and outs of government leadership through the high school YMCA Youth and Government (Y&G) and middle school Junior Youth and Government (JY&G) programs.

Through these two levels of Youth and Government, students learn how to identify weighty public issues, how to research those issues and how to draft proposed legislation to address those issues.

The goal is to develop four core values—respect, responsibility, honesty and caring—while learning about and successfully navigating the legislative process at Youth and Government events in order to qualify for the state conference. Once there, participants work hard to get their bills onto the desk of the elected Y&G or JY&G governor and see them signed into law.

Guided by Dowell Middle School social studies teacher Judith Anderson-Bruess, the group from MISD has made an annual tradition of traveling to Austin with a large contingent of students who have qualified for the state conference. And, those conferences have been presided over with high frequency by student governors hailing from McKinney—seven of the past nine years, in fact.

So, when an email arrives each year with a rather lengthy list of MISD students who are headed to the Y&G and JY&G state conferences and who have earned special recognition along the way, it’s not a surprise. But, it is remarkable.

Here are the 25 MISD students whose success at the regional conference in Duncanville on Nov. 16 earned them either a seat at the high school Youth and Government State Conference to be held in Austin on January 23–26 or the middle school Junior Youth and Government State Conference that will take place in Austin on February 21–23.

YMCA Youth and Government State Conference Qualifiers and Recognition Recipients:

Candidate for Governor (representing Dallas)
Vivienne Garner (McKinney Boyd High School)

Lieutenant Governor
Alex Searles (McKinney Boyd High School)—Alex won the race for Texas Y&G lieutenant governor at last spring’s state conference.

Distinguished Delegates:
Shea Berthelot (McKinney Boyd High School)
Walker Cullins (McKinney Boyd High School)
Janie Gantt (McKinney Boyd High School)
Matteo Greco (McKinney Boyd High School)
Kaylee Miller (McKinney Boyd High School)
Ariana Palomo (McKinney High School)— Ariana has also been chosen as one of two representatives from Texas who will attend the National Youth Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. in March to advocate for Y&G initiatives in front of U.S. representatives.
Pranavraj Prithviraju (McKinney Boyd High School)
Zach Puhala (McKinney Boyd High School)
Jax Schuck (McKinney Boyd High School)

Print Media Distinguished Delegate:
Rebecca Couvillion (McKinney Boyd High School)

YMCA Junior Youth and Government State Qualifiers and Recognition Recipients:

District 5 Candidate for Speaker of Duran House:
Mariana Guerrero (Dowell Middle School)

District 5 Candidate for Speaker of the House:
Avery Barrier (Dowell Middle School)

District 5 Candidate for President Pro Tempore of the Senate:
Erin Chuang (Dowell Middle School)

Distinguished Delegates:
Cade Brubaker (Faubion Middle School)
Ripley Cantrell (Dowell Middle School)
Dylan Deits (Dowell Middle School)
Ziyan Izhar (Dowell Middle School)
Sofie Jordan (Dowell Middle School)
David Kheyson (Dowell Middle School)
Rhett Rogers (Dowell Middle School)
Aaron Shortt (Dowell Middle School)

Outstanding Chair and Clerk:
Valerien Kostial (Dowell Middle School)
Jean-Michel Ndiaye (Dowell Middle School)

For all of these students, the achievement represents not only a high level of talent, but a tremendous amount of commitment and effort. And, those are qualities that always work well together.

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If you need additional assistance with the content on this page, please contact MISD Communications Department team member Shane Mauldin by phone at 469-302-4007 or by email here .

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