Lakeside Lutheran High School has announced its 2020 Badger Boys and Girls State representatives. The boys selected to represent Lakeside Lutheran at the 79th session of Badger Boys State at Ripon College from June 13-20 are Will Jorgensen, son of Mark and Nancy, McFarland, and Devin Splinter, son of Dan and Cheryl, Ixonia. The girls representing Lakeside Lutheran at the 77th session of Badger Girls State at UW-Oshkosh from June 11-26 are Lydia Buxa, daughter of Greg and Linda, Oconomowoc, and Ashley Grundman, daughter of Todd and Sherry, Waterloo.
Lydia Buxa, currently tied for first in class GPA, is planning a career in pediatric or neonatal nursing. She started Butterflies for Henry, a charity that donates all proceeds from the sale of hand-painted magnets and printed stickers to the family of a two-year-old boy who suffers from a rare skin disease. She is a member of Teens for Christ, a service organization at Lakeside, and this summer will participate in a STEAM Camp in Alaska as part of Lakeside’s Operation Go mission teams. She has also volunteered at Twice is Nice Resale Shop seasonal changeovers, St. Paul, Lake Mills’ annual Trunk or Treat, Thrivent Financial's Military Day, and at Lighthouse Youth Center in Milwaukee.
Buxa, who works at Kwik Trip, is a member of the National Honor Society, Academic Bowl team, and the Math team. She is also on the yearbook staff and the newspaper editorial team. She attended the Lake Mills Leadership Optimist’s Club Breakfast and was a delegate to the 2019 Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) Camp. A member at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Farmington, she sings in the A Cappella choir, played volleyball for one year, basketball for two seasons, and has been on varsity track for three years.
“I'm glad to be chosen for BGS because it's an opportunity to let my leadership grow,” she says. “I'm excited to not just learn about how government works, but also actually experience and become a part of it.”
For three years, Ashley Grundman has participated in golf, STEM Club, math meets, and the Academic Bowl. She was a founding member of Lakeside’s chapter of the Society of Women Engineers, is also a member of the National Honor Society, has been part of FFA for two years, was in the drama production her sophomore year, and managed the girls soccer team her freshman year. She serves as the secretary of Teens for Christ, “which I feel is a huge honor as a junior,” she says. A member of A Cappella Choir, she has participated in Operation Go mission trips, helps with chapel set up and the Grand Event—the school’s fundraising gala.
At her church, St. John-Newville, Waterloo, she helps with VBS and Sunday school, the Altar Guild, church decorating committee, and the church band. She is also active in the youth group and helps younger kids participate in the Christmas service. In addition, Grundman holds three part-time jobs as an assistant to a SimplyFun™ educational board game company rep, seasonal work at James J. Chocolate in Lake Mills, and as church secretary.
Grundman, who is considering a career in teaching or the medical field, is “looking forward to meeting with girls from other schools around the state, talking with them and learning about the different cultures within our own state. I'm also excited for what I might learn there, as I've been told the different life skills you learn can be used throughout your entire life,” she says.
Will Jorgensen, a member of Our Redeemer, Madison, volunteers at his church’s vacation Bible school and is active in their youth group. He has participated in Operation Go, taking two mission trips to Alaska. At school, Jorgensen participates in forensics, Teens for Christ, track, National Honor Society, and A Cappella Choir. His freshman year, he was on the baseball team and took piano lessons.
As a member of the football team, he earned 1st team all-conference as an offensive lineman and he is the off-season football captain, in charge of making sure people are in the weight room and stay interested in football.
Jorgensen is considering a career in business or international relations, “because I enjoy learning Spanish and business classes,” he says. He is looking forward to Badger Boys State to “meet new and interesting people, and to learn how government works by experiencing it firsthand. I think that BBS is going to be a fun and memorable experience, and I am honored to have been nominated.”
Through Badger Boys State, Devin Splinter is “looking forward to learning how to be a better leader in my school and my community,” he says. Splinter, who is considering being a middle school teacher, is active in his community, having been a beef representative on the Jefferson County MAP committee and 12-year member of the Ixonia Victory 4-H club, where he has served as president, vice-president, and secretary. This summer will be his seventh year showing and selling steer at the Jefferson County Fair, where he has won multiple awards and ribbons.
Splinter is a member of St. Matthew, Oconomowoc, where he serves as a group leader for Vacation Bible School and Christmas 4 Kids. At school, Splinter participates in football, track, Teens for Christ, National Honor Society, math team, and New Friends. He is headed to Chattanooga, Tennesse, this summer as part of an Operation Go mission trip.
“I am glad to have been chosen for BBS because I know it is a huge honor. I am also really glad that my teachers have chosen me for this because it helps me stay focused on my schoolwork and the way I act around other people,” he says.
Badger State Government and Leadership Conferences are an opportunity for students entering their senior year of high school to put the principles of democratic government into action during a weeklong assembly. Sponsored by the Wisconsin American Legion and its Auxiliary, the goals of Badger State assemblies are to prepare young men and women of high school age for citizenship in a modern world, teach principles of democracy, instill a love of country and desire to preserve our government. Schools are encouraged to select representatives based on a combination of interest shown, leadership qualities, character, fitness, scholarship and extra-curricular activities.