Friday, July 18, 2014
Meet Your Government Staff!
Well folks, the girls are about to arrive. I know they are excited, but perhaps their parents and loved ones might be a little nervous. Let me reassure you, we are all trained professionals!
:o) Just kidding. Actually, part of what makes this so great is that, at least here in the government staff, we aren’t full time ALA Girls Nation gurus – we are regular people who recognize the power of this particular program and volunteer our time to ensure its success.
I can’t introduce the whole staff, but I will take some time to let you know who is who in the government office. And yes, we do have a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme this year…
Jane, like Leonardo, is our fearless leader. We know she is fearless because she taught elementary school students for 35 years (but she only looks 29!!). Now, as a retired educator, she fills her time living life at a slower pace. She stays active in the American Legion Auxiliary and is the incoming department Legislative chairman for Indiana. Although devoted to her grandchildren, she is also dedicated to Hoosier Girls State (where she serves as the Government director) and to Girls Nation (where she is the Operations Manager for Government and the Federalist Party Leader). She also just started taking yoga classes!
Yumi (Raphael) is a new government recruit from San Francisco, California. Yumi provides a host of legal experience and will start her week running the Girls Nation senate. She will also be assisting the Federalist Party this year. Yumi is heavily involved in California Girls State and has been on staff there for eight years. She is a fan of musical theatre, although she cannot sing, nor dance. Instead, her talents are in percussion and she was the first female drum captain at Irvine High School. Now, she plays drums for an all-lawyer jazz trio called Short Term Memory. She currently works at an entertainment and intellectual property boutique law firm.
Kelly (Michelangelo) joins our staff this year from Colorado (by way of Kansas). A “recovering” lawyer, she now is involved in education serving as the Dean of Instruction at Red Rocks Community College. Kelly is working on her PhD in Higher Education and her dissertation focuses on veterans in higher education. In her free time she runs the steps at the Red Rocks amphitheater. While in Kansas, Kelly was the Second District President of the Auxiliary and is currently serving on the Constitution and Bylaws committee. At Girls Nation, Kelly will be helping in the senate as the technical guru, and in party meetings she will be the Assistant Nationalist Party Leader. A fun fact is that she was a Good Do Bee on Romper Room!
Katie (Donatello) – that’s me. I am from Indiana (but currently live in Missouri). This is my second year on the Girls Nation Government Staff where this year I will be the Nationalist Party Leader (Go Nats!!) and I will be the Legislative Assistant. In the real world I teach American Government and Political Science at the collegiate level, so I feel that I carry the torch of Girls State with me year round. I have served on Girls State staff for thirteen years and feel Hoosier Girls State is the best program in the land. In my free time I love to travel, bake and quilt. A bucket list goal of mine is to visit all seven continents.
Collectively, we will guide our 98 senators through the week and do our best to teach them all that we can about how our federal government operates. To our senators, we know there will be a lot to learn, but we promise it will be fun. Whenever you feel overwhelmed, take a breath, smile, and remember, we are all in this together!
“Government in a half-shell….Voting Power!”