Pair credit teachers for success

A pair of local students credited their teachers for helping them serve as Alaska’s representatives to the recent American Legion Boys Nation held in Washington, D.C.



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A pair of local students credited their teachers for helping them serve as Alaska’s representatives to the recent American Legion Boys Nation held in Washington, D.C.

Boys Nation is a weeklong political education program conducted annually. Just two Boys Nation delegates – or “senators” as they are called – are selected from among hundreds of applicants from each of 49 states (Hawaii excepted). All Boys Nation candidates must have graduated from their state’s American Legion Boys State program.

Taylor Holshouser (pictured above at left) and Sam Erickson, both 17, are seniors at Eagle River High School. In a press release, the two — who have been friends since sixth grade — credited Eagle River’s faculty with their success in the highly competitive Boys State and Boys Nation programs. Both said participation in debate has been key to their success.

“We’ve done it together (for some time) so we operate as a team,” said Holshouser. “But it was our Social Studies teacher Ms. (Valerie) Spencer who brought out that cooperation between us. This allowed us to do well at Boys State.”

Erickson gave further credit to Language Arts department chair Luke Almon.

“He taught us rhetoric and the basic logical pattern of an argument.”

“He did Boys State in Indiana,” added Holshouser, “so he was very much for us going into the program.”

The two also mentioned Eagle River history teacher Perry Lewis for helping them take an interest in politics.

Boys Nation provides participants with a full immersion, seven-day, dawn ‘til after dusk, hands-on education in national politics and the legislative process. Activities include mock party conventions, legislative elections, debates, speechmaking and a day long tour of Capitol Hill. During their time in D.C., the pair visited the offices of Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich and toured the White House and numerous historical landmarks.

 

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