Governor Laura Kelly Honors Amelia Earhart at U.S. Capitol


Joins Bipartisan Congressional Leaders for Statue Unveiling Ceremony

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Governor Laura Kelly today joined bipartisan Congressional Leadership, Senators Jerry Moran and Roger Marshall, Congresswoman Sharice Davids, and Congressman Jake LaTurner for the Congressional statue dedication and unveiling ceremony honoring Amelia Earhart, one of the world’s most celebrated aviators and the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. The ceremony was held in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol.

“This statue immortalizing Amelia Earhart will serve as an inspiration to our young people for generations to come, propelling them to dream beyond the limits of their time,” said Governor Kelly. “I want to thank our Congressional leaders and our Kansas delegation for the opportunity to honor one of Kansas’ most iconic figures – a woman who showed all of us what it means to reach for the stars.”

Born and raised in Atchison, Kansas, Earhart received her pilot license in 1923 and subsequently championed the advancement of women in aviation. She was declared lost at sea when she disappeared over the Pacific Ocean in 1937. The statue of Amelia Earhart will represent the State of Kansas in the National Statuary Hall Collection alongside a statue of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Along with Amelia Earhart, Governor Kelly’s remarks recognized a long legacy of pioneering women in Kansas history, including Susanna Salter, the first woman elected mayor in the United States in 1887; Georgia Neese Gray, who, during the Truman Administration, became the first woman to serve as United States Treasurer; and Lucinda Todd, a civil rights activist and one of the petitioners in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester
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.

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