Sept. 29, 2021 - This summer, 21 students represented the Comal Independent School District in Boys State and Girls State, giving them an inside look into how the U.S. government really works. For the second year in a row, these annual leadership programs sponsored by the American Legion and the American Legion Auxiliary were virtual, but the lessons learned remained the same.
“It was a privilege to participate in the 2021 Girls State leadership program,” said Natalie Perez, a senior at Davenport High School. “The lessons I learned were invaluable. It was very interesting to break down and really learn the mechanics of Texas government. The political process helped show me that anyone can step up and try to make your city or state a better place. Bringing about change is a lot of work, but it is worth the effort.”
Understanding how individual citizens can shape city, county, state and federal governments is exactly why Boys State was founded in 1935 and Girls State began in 1947. In a six-day crash course, participants literally create their own governments. They run for office, host elections, conduct committee hearings, draft legislation, pass legislation and more.
“The ultimate highlight of Girls State was meeting all the girls in my group,” Perez said. “Although this year was virtual, I was able to make some new friends. We were all different, but we were participating in the program for similar reasons, which made it easy to get along together.”
In order, to participate, rising seniors are nominated by teachers, coaches, counselors and principals based on their academic performance in school; interpersonal, leadership and oratorical skills; and their willingness to work hard and volunteer when needed.
The 2021 Boys State and Girls State participants for Comal ISD were recognized during the Board of Trustees meeting on Sept. 21. They include the following students:
Canyon High School
- Chandler Banks - Boys State
- Jake Hogue - Boys State
Canyon Lake High School
- Anise Christensen - Girls State
- Lindsay Ford - Girls State
- Reid Mentzer - Boys State
- Jack Williams - Boys State
Davenport High School
- McKenna Martin - Girls State
- Natalie Perez - Girls State
- Aiyana Reeves - Girls State
- Abriana Villegas - Girls State
- Khush Arora - Boys State
- Michael McCarty - Boys State
- Simon Saberon - Boys State
- Nicholas Sunstrom - Boys State
Smithson Valley High School
- Reeve Bonser - Girls State
- Kayleigh Klinksiek - Girls State
- Mikayla Lively - Girls State
- Abigail Martin - Girls State
- Ryann McAnelly - Girls State
- Ian Martin - Boys State
- Tytus Gonzalez - Boys State
-This year 21 Comal ISD students participated in the annual Boys and Girls State summer leadership programs. These students were recognized at the Comal ISD Board of Trustees meeting on Sept. 21. Pictured back row from left is Jake Williams, Mikayla Lively, Kayleigh Klinksiek, Khush Arora and McKenna Martin; front row from left is Ryann McAnelly, Reeve Bonser, Lindsay Ford, Anise Christensen and Abriana Villegas.
-Natalie Perez, a senior at Davenport High School, was one of 21 Comal ISD students who participated in this summer’s Boys and Girls State leadership program. She was unable to attend the Comal ISD Board of Trustees meeting on Sept. 21, when other participants were recognized.