Heathwood Delegation Shines at 2016 Youth in Government Conference

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The 16 Heathwood Upper School students who participated in this year’s Youth In Government program notched an outstanding performance, finishing in first place out of 40 trial teams, winning awards for Outstanding Media Staff and Outstanding Trial Attorney, and successfully getting two bills through the legislative process.

Along with teachers Julie Firetag and Gigi Dawson and trial coach Barb Petit, students Caroline Bunch, Kate Nassab, Lily Richter, Paris Tomlin, Madeline Ashcraft, Lexie Colwell, Marra Edwards, Emma Shealy, Ben Mathews, Roy Mathews, Wallace Stuckey, Samantha Gaton, Lawson Leidinger, Isabelle Lord, Alyce Petit, and Marie Charlotte Demetreades attended this year’s Youth in Government convention at the SC Statehouse. Sponsored by the YMCA, Youth in Government seeks to build good citizens by demystifying local, state, and national governmental systems and expanding horizons so young people will understand their role within a global society. Some 1400 high school students from around the state attended this year’s conference, which ran from November 16-19.

At the YIG conference, students participate in a simulation of South Carolina’s democratic process by serving as Senators and Representatives, attorneys and justices, or media delegates who keep all participants informed about what happens each day at the conference. Heathwood students exceled in each of these categories, earning recognition for:

  • Outstanding Media Staff: Ben Mathews and Caroline Bunch
  • Outstanding Trial Attorney: Alyce Petit
  • Susan Hitt Outstanding Attorney Award: Lexie Colwell
  • Outstanding Trial Team (#1 out of 40 at the conference): Alyce Petit, Lexie Colwell, Emma Shealy, Madeline Ashcraft, and Marra Edwards 
  • Legislation Recognition: Roy Mathews, Wallace Stuckey, Marie Charlotte Demetriades, and Samantha Gaton

Because they finished first in the state, the members of the trial team will be attending the National Judicial Conference in Chicago this July.

Mrs. Firetag said that while she was proud of the team’s strong performance, she was even more proud of their work ethic and the character they displayed at the conference. “They missed two days of school to attend the conference at a time of year when that meant many of them had to make up tests immediately after a long weekend of competition,” she said. “But they were all willing to do that. And seeing them at the conference, our students really shined. They embodied Heathwood values and represented our community incredibly well.”

You can learn more about Youth in Government by watching the video about this year’s event that Ben Mathews and Caroline Bunch produced: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_GfQg8Fr6oCSThfVXhqdlpfbDA/view