A pair of Mt. Pleasant High School juniors are heading to the American Legion's Boys State convention, set for June 10-15, at Camp Dodge in Johnston.
The American Legion Bob Tribby Post #58 named Matthew Wettach and Jack Thomas as the two selectees for 2007.
According to member Dean King, the post's selection committee takes recommendations from its members, school counselors and other community sources to find two quality young men for Boys State. He said part of the search criteria includes students who are community-minded, exhibit leadership and good character and are academically sound.
"We try to pick the cream of the crop from the junior class," King said, "and in these two I think we did it." (...)
Wettach is the son of Drs. Steve and Mary Wettach and grandson of Dr. and Mrs. Robert Wettach, all of Mt. Pleasant.
He is a member of the National Honor Society and a member of the Rotary Interact Club, represents students on the Mt. Pleasant Community Library board and is on the student council.
His extracurricular school activities include chamber choir, symphonic band, show choir and jazz band. He has appeared in numerous school and community presentations, most recently as Professor Fenton in the school-sponsored play, "Bullshot Crummond."
Wettach has received the Prudential Spirit of Community Award, National Day Military Gold Award, Daily Point of Light National Award, the Presidential Volunteer Service Award and the Presidential Academic Award.
He has been honored by Gov. Chet Culver and Rep. Dave Heaton for his volunteer work and was selected for "Kids with Character" for his volunteer efforts. He currently ranks in the upper two percent in the junior class.
Wettach is also active in the Explorer Post 1846, interpreting Iowa history for visitors during Midwest Old Threshers and other special events.
Wettach is a member of the Swedesburg Luther League, presently serving as vice-president.
Boys State is a summer leadership and citizenship program sponsored by The American Legion for high school students between their junior and senior years.
The program participants are divided up into smaller groups that are given city names. The "citizens" of each of these cities then elect mock municipal officials and representatives to the mock state legislature.
If enough "citizens" are present, then a county level is added to the program between city and state. The participants also elect state officials, such as governor, lieutenant governor, and other state-level officials representing their real state.
The legislature then meets to organize, elect leaders, and to pass bills in a way that is similar to how their actual legislature operates. (...)
Matt said he felt honored to be selected for Boys State by the Legion.
"I hope to get a more accurate understanding on how government works, meet new people and new perspectives." (...) Wettach said he's hoping this will help prepare him for college. "It's going to be like a guys' dorm," he said. "We have five days to get to know each other." He noted that President Bill Clinton was a national boys stater, as were vice-presidents Al Gore and Dick Cheney.
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