MANHATTAN — More than 430 teens from across the state, all of whom will enter their senior year of high school this fall, participated in the 2017 session of the American Legion Boys State of Kansas Leadership Academy. The event, in its 80th year, was June 4 to 9 at Kansas State University in Manhattan for the 26th consecutive year.

The event provides a relevant, interactive, problem-solving experience in leadership and teamwork that develops self-identity, promotes mutual respect and instills civic responsibility. Boys State is a “learning by doing” political exercise that simulates elections, political parties and government at the state, county and local levels, providing opportunities to lead under pressure, showcasing character and working effectively within a team. It’s also an opportunity to gain pride and respect for government and the price paid by members of the military to preserve democracy.

Scott Ring, Hays, a 2015 KBS delegate from Hays High School who served as an information technology counselor this year, was named New Counselor of the Year.

Area participants included Spencer Heise, Osborne High School, Department of Natural Resources Staff; Rody Schofield, Sylvan-Lucas High School, Powell County representative; Grant Weinhold, Wilson High School, City of Hasler councilman; Michael Braun, Thomas More Prep-Marian High School, City of Raymond councilman; Brendan Chapman, Hays High School, City of Raymond councilman; Drew Morley, Hays High School, City of Hiatt councilman; Dawson Rooney, Hays High School, MacArthur County commissioner; Ross Ifland, Smith Center High School, Pershing County commissioner; Oliver Pinckney, Smith Center High School, Kansas Boys State media staff; Jacob Kraus, Russell High School, Powell County representative; Bryce Niermeier, Colby High School, MacArthur County representative; and Jordan Janicke, Cheylin High School, City of Newman councilman.