Gov. Phil Bredesen, State Supreme Court to visit Boys' State at Tennessee Tech University

Published: Sun, 2009-05-24 (All day)

Publisher: Tennessee American Legion Boys State

Author: Karen Lykins

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The number one American Legion Boys’ State program in the nation, which for the first time claims the Boys’ Nation president as one of its own, begins its 45th year at Tennessee Tech University.
“This program is number one in the nation because of the established relationship between the American Legion and Tennessee Tech University,” said Judge John J. Maddux Jr., circuit court judge for the 13th judicial district. “These two organizations work together to produce a top-notch product.”
During the week, about 600 high school juniors are immersed in learning state government by running a mock 51st state, Boys' State. They will organize political parties and establish city, county and state governments by election, complete with primaries and political campaigns. American Legion Posts across the state sponsor delegates and fund the activities held at Tennessee Tech.
This year’s session also will feature an address from Gov. Phil Bredesen. For the seventh consecutive year, Boys' State will host the SCALES program, the Supreme Court Advancing Legal Education for Students, during which the Tennessee Supreme Court will hold a special session to hear oral arguments in two actual Supreme Court cases.
"Boys' State promotes a respect for our government, our leaders and our military," said Marc Burnett, director and TTU's vice president of student affairs, who has worked with the program since 1984.
During the week, Boys' Staters will receive qualified instruction and advice from elected state officials. Gov. Bredesen will address the group on Tuesday afternoon. NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, who holds the record for the longest time spent in space for a female, will speak to delegates Monday evening.
Judge John J. Maddux Jr. has overseen the program as Tennessee Boys’ State chairperson for almost three decades and invites all speakers and guests. Community leaders assisting with government instruction include John Keys, commissioner for Tennessee's Department of Veterans Affairs; Henry Fincher, state representative; former state representative Jerry Jared; Cookeville attorney Jeffrey Jones; Steve Qualls, former Cookeville city councilman; and Kim Blaylock, County Executive of Putnam County.
The 2008 American Legion officers for Tennessee are Earl C. Watson of Donelson, state commander; A. Mike Hammer of Nashville, adjutant and finance officer; Perry D. Roberts of Cookeville, national executive committeeman; and Rollen Bradshaw of Loudon, alternate national executive committeeman. Serving on the Boys' State Board of Directors are John J. Maddux Jr. of Cookeville, A. Mike Hammer of Nashville, and Perry D. Roberts of Cookeville.
As the host of Boys' State, Tennessee Tech University provides counselors and staff who guide and assist participants throughout the week. This year, Marc Burnett, TTU's vice president of student affairs, returns for his ninth year at the helm. Mark Ochsenbein also returns for his ninth year as assistant director.
Counselors for the 12 cities of Boys' State include the following Tennessee Tech faculty, staff and administrators:

Cain City: Senior Counselor: LTC Stephen Dunham, military science chairperson; Junior Counselor: Christopher Rice, sophomore criminal justice major from Spring City.

Hammer City: Senior Counselor: Brian Waite, assistant football coach; Junior Counselor: Thomas Pelham, junior history major from Soddy Daisy.

Kreider City: Senior Counselor: Dustin Rawls, student orientation director; Junior Counselor: Tanner Kerr, sophomore nursing major from Loudon.

Lahiere City: Senior Counselor: James Stewart, English and Communications professor; Junior Counselor: Michael Proulx, senior Pre-PT, EXPW major from Knoxville.

Levi City: Senior Counselor: MSG James Streett, military science instructor; Junior Counselor: William Enicks, junior management information systems major from Chattanooga.

Loring City: Senior Counselor: Steve Law, ROTC human resource manager; Junior Counselor: Chase Dial, junior management information systes major from Sparta.

Maddux City: Senior Counselor: Josh Edmonds, residential life coordinator; Junior Counselor: John Kell, freshman business major from New Market.

McCollum City: Senior Counselor: Rob Schabert, sports information assistant director; Junior Counselor: Kevin Franks, senior electrical engineering major from Cookeville.

Reel City: Senior Counselor: Darrell Thompson, MSG (R) ; Junior Counselor: Matthew Bowland, junior management information systems major from Murfreesboro.

Roberts City: Senior Counselor: Tony Marable, director of the minority engineering program; Junior Counselor: Matthew Whitson, freshman biochemistry major from Cookeville.

Summitt City: Senior Counselor: Andrew Moneymaker, residential life coordinator; Junior Counselor: Richard Gilbert, senior history major from Mt. Juliet.

Young City: Senior Counselor: Maj. Jim Reed, military science assistant professor; Junior Counselor: Chase Cortner, freshman mechanical engineering major from Smyrna.
Athletic counselors are Kyle Ochsenbein, graduate student in instructional leadership from Cookeville; Jake Bussey, junior business management major from Crossville; Andrew Nixon, sophomore history major from Cookeville; Nick Reed, senior EXPW major from Crossville; and Brandon Maynord from Sparta.
Tennessee American Legion Boys’ State proud to claim Boys’ Nation President —
Joseph W. Riley of McMinn Central High School, the first American Legion Tennessee Boys’ State representative elected president of Boys’ Nation, will make opening remarks as the 2008 Boys’ Nation president Sunday night. Atticus Wright, 2008 Boys' State governor, also will address participants when they arrive Sunday.
"I've been interested in leadership and politics since I was about 6 or 7 years old," Riley said. "It feels pretty wonderful to be elected president of Boys’ Nation." In fourth grade, he had a map on his wall
of the Electoral College and closely followed the 2000 presidential election. "I actually predicted that it would come down to Michigan or Florida," he recalled.
Riley was highly impressed with the quality of students who participated in Boys’ Nation this year. "It's good we have these young men from all over the country who really care about the issues facing our government," Riley said. "Sure, we debate over our differences, but then we get together as friends. There is so much argument between conservatives and liberals, we sometimes forget that practical solutions exist."