American Legion Boys State Leadership Academy Cancelled Due to COVID-19

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March 27, 2020 — Due to continuing developments concerning COVID-19 (coronavirus), the American Legion Boys State of Kansas Leadership Academy has cancelled its 2020 session, which was scheduled for May 31 through June 5 at Kansas State University in Manhattan. The decision to cancel this year’s session, which would have been its 83rd, was made to ensure the safety of the delegates, staff and American Legion volunteers.

“On behalf of the entire American Legion Boys State of Kansas Leadership Academy staff, I am saddened that we had to make the decision to cancel this year’s session due to COVID-19,” said Executive Director Shane Wilson. “However, for the health and well-being of the delegates, staff and Legionnaires, as well as the Kansas State University employees who assist our program, we felt this was the right call to make with the unknown future of this pandemic. And by cancelling the 2020 session now, this allows everyone involved to make alternate plans as needed.”

This year’s attendees will receive information in the coming weeks regarding the impact of this decision, including refunds to those who have completed the registration process.

For more information about this year’s cancellation, visit ksbstate.org. Delegates/families with specific questions, comments or concerns can contact the ALBSKLA at info.1937@ksbstate.org or (866) 241-9920. Sponsors, such as American Legion posts, civic organizations, businesses and clubs, should contact Troy Fowler, ALBSKLA director of operations, at troy.fowler@ksbstate.org.

The ALBSKLA is for individuals who will enter their senior year of high school in the fall. It provides a relevant, interactive, problem-solving experience in leadership and teamwork that develops self-identity, promotes mutual respect and instills civic responsibility. Boys State is a “learning by doing” political exercise that simulates elections, political parties and government at the state, county and local levels, providing opportunities to lead under pressure, showcasing character and working effectively within a team. It’s also an opportunity to gain pride and respect for the price paid by members of the military to preserve democracy.

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Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.