Several LaRue County High School students got a close up and personal look at the workings of state government as they participated in the Kentucky Youth Assembly Nov. 20-22 in Louisville and Frankfort.
“Three of our four bills reached the desk of the Governor,” said Kendrick Bryan, LCHS social studies teacher who with Lindsey Bryan and Ben Schell chaperoned the LaRue County students who joined others from throughout Kentucky.
LCHS bill topics included banning mandatory meal plans for students; requiring all certified and classified employees of school districts to complete training on bullying in schools; mandating constables obtain law enforcement training consistent with their powers; and requiring amusement park incident reports be posted on the Kentucky Department of Agriculture website within 24 hours of the incident. The latter bill was defeated.
“We had five guest speakers agree to meet with our students – Attorney General Andy Beshear and legislators Jody Richards, Terry Mills, Dean Schamore and Dennis Parrett.”
KYA students served in various roles including lobbyists as well as members of the legislative and the executive branches of state government.
“We had 57 students in our delegation, and every student participated in the democratic process,” said Bryan.
LaRue’s group of students was honored as a Delegation of Excellence. Sophie Akin was named an Outstanding Speaker, and Natalie Wolf was honored as LaRue’s Outstanding Delegate. Symone Whalin, Breea Kirkpatrick, Virginia Taylor and Seth Newby served in leadership positions.
Sophomore Malerie Skaggs said a highlight for her was getting to visit the state capitol and to speak in support of the bill her group wrote.
“As a delegate, I got to vote and also learned how to speak about a bill and speak on others’ bills,” Skaggs said.
Bryan said KYA is an example of experiential learning.
“The most beneficial thing the students learned from participating was the opportunity to research the issues and discuss their views with others,” he noted. “Over 1,300 students attended the conference, and this trip showed students that they should be passionate about their community and state.”
The following students attended the trip: Nate Risner, Harrison Hynes, Briar Holt, Dakota Martin, Riley Whitaker, Dalton Fay, Alex Best, Brandon “Biscuit” Hurt, Seth Newby, Seth DeVary, Jacob Cecil, Hunter McLaughlin, Jaxon Boley, Andrew Hutchins, Noah Thompson, William Pearman, Josh McCourt, James Akin, Mason Bandurske, Chandler McLaughlin, Kaitlyn Warnshuis, Brittany Blair, Jordan Bradley, Zoie Webb, Hattie Ward, Gillian Nunn, Sophe Pepper, Virginia Taylor, Daisy Graham, Kylee Thurman, Abigail Hazelwood, Malerie Skaggs, Maddie Royalty, Rachel Sheffer, Mary Gearon, Jordyn Krueger, Bridget Southwood, Kaitlin Hack, Kaleigh Graham, Kelsey Key, Madison Eads, Sarah Selman, Myah Meredith, Paige Noe, Breea Kirkpatrick, Sophie Akin, Mallory Williams, Natalie Wolf, Jessi O’Bryan, Symone Whalin, Marisa Cecil, Taylor Ulrich, Alexis Grimes, Grace Armes, Rachel Armes, Emma Bowling and Hayley Cecil.
Hayley Cecil served on the media team while Royalty served on the Conference Life Committee. Fay, Webb and O’Bryan acted as lobbyists. Sophie Akin and Hunter McLaughlin were parliamentarians.