Four students ending their junior years at St. Joseph School were chosen last month to attend Arkansas Boys and Girls State as the school's 2020 Conference Delegates even though both events have since been cancelled due to the recent pandemic. "Covid-19 may have caused the cancellation of these conferences, " High School Counselor Kristen Piraino said, "but it does not diminish the honor of this achievement."
Jacob Bailey, Caleb Mallett, Abigail Bailey, and Becca Chamoun were selected to participate in these events by St. Joseph teachers and staff. They're traditionally held in June on the campuses of Harding University for the girls and th Jacob Bailey, Caleb Mallett, Abigail Bailey, and Becca Chamoun were selected to participate in these events by St. Joseph teachers and staff. They're traditionally held in June on the campuses of Harding University for the girls and the University of Central Arkansas for the boys. "Due to escalating health concerns and discussions with medical professionals, we believe that it is in the best interest of all our staff, counselors and delegates to cancel the program," Arkansas Girls State Executive Director Charlotte Wilson said. "We are all deeply saddened that this session will not occur, and we are actively working to honor those girls who have been selected to attend." The Arkansas Boys State Commission issued a similar statement.
Both organizations are sponsored by the American Legion and conduct their sessions as civics education programs. Participants form mock governments and learn about politics and legislative procedures in a week-long experience. Arkansas Boys State began in 1940 and Girls State followed two years later. This marks only the second time in the history of both conferences have been cancelled. The first was in 1945 during World War II.
Seen here, left to right, are Jacob Bailey, Abigail Bailey, Becca Chamoun, and Caleb Mallett