Lakeland senior named Boys State governor

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 26, 2005

Staff Report

A rising Lakeland High School senior has been tapped as the 63rd governor of American Legion Boys State of Virginia at its 2005 session being held this week at Liberty University in Lynchburg.

.James Edward Watson Jr., who was elected Thursday, is a citizen in Puller City at Boys State.


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He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. James E. Watson Sr. at 2525 E. Washington Street. Watson, 17, is active in Lakeland’s Air Force Junior ROTC and the school choir. He was sponsored to attend Virginia Boys State by American Legion Post 57 in Suffolk.

The 63rd annual session of American Legion Boys State of Virginia opened on June 19 with 802 delegates in attendance. Outstanding rising seniors from high schools – both public and private – across Virginia have been chosen to participate in this annual educational program.

Boys State, sponsored by the American Legion in each state, is designed to instruct select high school students about state and local government. Delegates to this intensive week-long session have heard addresses from various state and local officials including the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, two state supreme court justices, four members of the General Assembly, and two local officials.

All delegates are assigned to one of 16 Boys State cities named after famous military leaders, like Eisenhower, MacArthur, and Patton. Each of the Boys State citizens are also assigned to either of the fictitious political parties – Federalist or Nationalist – for purposes of nominating and electing candidates for mayor of each city, the Boys State legislature, attorney general, lieutenant governor, and governor along with various other state and local offices.

Citizens elected to the various positions actually serve in those offices during the week and take on their respective duties and responsibilities. Students attending Boys State learn citizenship and civic leadership through participation.