(KFVS) - Jack Daniels, Paducah Tilghman High School rising senior, was named "Mr. Boys State" at the June 12th closing ceremonies of the 75th annual Kentucky Boys State leadership program. Boys State Director Dr. Peter Trzop said, "Mr. Daniels was a clear choice for the designation. Over 25,000 boys take part in the nation-wide program each year, and to be chosen as the one from your home state that epitomizes the ideals of the program is a tremendous honor."
The week-long program, run by the American Legion, introduces rising senior boys to the workings of Kentucky's state government through legislative sessions, court proceedings, presentations, and hands-on practice of the theories of American government.
Nominated by Paducah Tilghman and endorsed by local American Legion Posts, Daniels and fellow rising seniors Logan Bakehouse, Harrison Kelly, and Palmer Stroup joined approximately eighty participants from around the state at the Wendell H. Ford Training Center.
In celebration of Kentucky Boys State's 75th anniversary, legislative sessions were held for the first time in the historic Old State Capitol in Frankfort. Guest speakers throughout the week included Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lungergan Grimes and Brian Roy from the Kentucky Association of County Officials.
Daniels was also elected Secretary of the Senate and Secretary of the Federalist Party. His bill on Kentucky agriculture was introduced and passed on the Senate floor. Daniels, the son of Andrea and Jamie Daniels, was also elected alternate delegate to Boys Nation.
Logan Bakehouse, son of Amy and Mike Bakehouse, was elected to the House of Representatives for the Nationalist Party, and was elected the party's Sergeant at Arms. In addition, he was elected Assistant Mayor of his bay. Bakehouse was ranked in the top 10% in Physical Fitness Training and received a Marksman award for exceptional skills in shooting. "Boys State gave me a brief glimpse of military life and instilled in me an interest in politics," he explained.
Harrison Kelly, son of Alyson and David Kelly, was elected Senator of the Federalist Party, one of twenty-one Senators from the group of eighty students. In addition, Kelly introduced and passed a bill on both the House and Senate floors. Kelly's bill, "The People's Protection Act," supported the use of body cameras on all police officers in the field or on patrol. His was the only bill to be signed by the Governor of Boys State.
Palmer Stroup, son of Lisa Chappell and David Stroup, was elected to two offices. Stroup served as Mayor of his bay and was elected to the House of Representatives for the Nationalist Party. Stroup also placed third in the camp-wide talent show for his performance on the guitar.
Each participant wrote and delivered his own campaign speeches and bills. "Every day we had to speak in front of the whole group, addressing the ideas of the others as well as establishing our own," explained Stroup. "Boys State was a test of courage and leadership, and I was forced to use my skills in new ways. We learned from the speakers and from ourselves, and we relied on teamwork. It was a very educational experience."
Bakehouse, Daniels, Kelly, and Stroup, all Advanced Placement students, recently completed Tilghman's rigorous American Studies class. "Participating in Boys State was an eye opening experience," said Kelly. "It is one thing to read about and study American government principles, but at Kentucky Boys State, we actually experienced first hand how these principles play out in real life."
Dr. Trzop remarked, "The Paducah Tilghman boys came with fantastic attitudes. Their strong support of each other quickly spread to the other participants, and these four young men ended the week having positively influenced and impacted a much larger group. The American Legion is thankful for the support it receives from the Paducah Public School System, and we look forward to having other rising seniors such as these four fine young men attend our program in the future."