Ad Spot

May 6, 2021

Tar Heel Girls state

By Sarah Nagem
snagem@salisburypost.com
State and national political primary races have come to an end this election cycle, but primary stump speeches were in full swing at Tar Heel Girls State Wednesday night.
Promises of strong leadership and dedication, backed up by impressive credentials, resounded with the fictitious Nationalist Party.
About 280 rising seniors from across the state are spending a week at Catawba College to learn more about the workings of state government. This year marks the 69th anniversary of Girls State in North Carolina.
On Wednesday, two mock political parties ó the Nationalists and the Federalists ó elected gubernatorial candidates, who will face off in a general election. The parties also elected candidates for lieutenant governor, secretary of state and attorney general.
Two Rowan County natives ó Katye Beaver of the N.C. School of Science and Math and Jaimie Mullen of East Rowan High School ó vied for the governor’s spot to represent the Nationalist Party.
Neither won the nomination, but both girls said they were learning valuable lessons at Girls State.
“I came in here with an open mind,” said Beaver, who attended West Rowan High School for two years before transferring to the N.C. School of Science and Math.
So far this week, Beaver has learned how lobbyists push their agendas on lawmakers. She helped introduce a bill that would mandate high-occupancy vehicle lanes on all major highways in a mythical 51st state of the Union.
“I definitely want to get that bill passed,” Beaver said.
“It’s a great way to reduce carbon emissions. It’s a great way to fix a lot of problems.”
Those are the kinds of issues these teenagers are tackling this week. They split up into towns, where they elected officials. They are also meeting as a General Assembly, where bills pass or fail.
Mullen’s role in Pink City, as her town is called, was to write the city charter.
“Charter” is a term Mullen wasn’t familiar with until she got to Girls State.
“I didn’t know what a charter was,” she said.
But Mullen learned. Pink City, population 39, adopted, among other things, a city food (grilled cheese sandwich), a city tree (dogwood) and a city drink (Cheerwine).
The process was exciting to Mullen, who hadn’t planned on attending Girls State. In fact, she hadn’t even heard about Girls State.
Another student at East Rowan who had been scheduled to attend backed out, so the school staff asked her to go, Mullen said.
She’s glad she did.
Mullen is a self-proclaimed history buff who hasn’t taken much of an interest in government. But an AP government class is on her schedule next school year.
“So this should help a lot,” she said.
During her speech to her fellow Nationalists, Mullen said the party needed “someone who can take charge without dictating” and someone who has the “ability to be led.”
The speech wasn’t enough to win her the nomination, though. Kaley Rivera of Belmont will represent the Nationalists in the gubernatorial race, while Johana Sisk from Burlington will represent the Federalists.
Shaina Mortenson of Carson High School didn’t convince the Nationalist Party to nominate her for secretary of state. But Laurel Loeblein of Salisbury High School won the nomination to represent the Federalists in the general election of that race.
The students at Girls State are in the top third of their classes.
“You have to be a leader already and be interested in learning more about being a leader,” said Kaye Hirst, commission chair for the program.
All the girls won’t go on to have careers in politics and law, said Julie Cooper Head, program director.
Girls State is about more than that, she said.
“It teaches skills in patriotism, how to be an effective citizen,” Head said.
Elaine Marshall, N.C. Secretary of State, will speak at Girls State today.

Comments

Comments closed.

Crime

More than $100,000 in property reported stolen from Old Beatty Ford Road site

Local

City fights invasive beetles by injecting trees with insecticide

Local

City names downtown recipients for federal Parks Service grant

China Grove

China Grove Town Council weighs 2021-22 budget priorities, supports buying body cameras

Education

Educators reflect on Teacher Appreciation Week

Education

Livingstone College wins $30,000 Home Depot grant

Education

Shoutouts

News

Shield-A-Badge With Prayer program enters 26th year, accepting volunteers to pair with officers

Education

COVID-19 infection, quarantine numbers in Rowan-Salisbury Schools reach new highs

High School

High school football: Offensive line came together for Hornets, who play for state title tonight

Local

Pro baseball: White makes pro debut and says, ‘It felt amazing to be out there’

Education

West Rowan Middle eighth grader wins investment writing contest

Local

YSUP Rowan invites agencies to participate in youth-focused training

Nation/World

US backs waiving intellectual property rules on vaccines

News

As demand drops, Cooper visits vaccine clinic to urge usage

News

NC lawmakers advance bill barring mandatory COVID-19 shots

News

N.C. bill banning Down syndrome abortions nears floor vote

Coronavirus

Rowan County sees 301st death from COVID-19

Coronavirus

N.C. lawmakers advance bill barring mandatory COVID-19 shots

Local

Rowan Public Library joins initiative to help people with digital connectivity

Local

Mocksville to dissolve police department

Crime

Blotter: May 5

Local

Salisbury’s McElroy named top city, county communications professional in state

Local

Locals condemn use of force during 2019 traffic stop of Georgia woman