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Templeton High School Juniors nominated for Boys State Conference

Templeton High School Juniors nominated for Boys State Conference

Written by Camille DeVaul  |  Atascadero News  |  Originally Posted Online March 14, 2024

Mason Mudgett will represent Templeton at the American Legion Auxiliary mock government program

TEMPLETON — Four juniors at Templeton High School were chosen as the top of their class, and one will be heading to the Boys State Conference later this year. Mason Mudgett will be representing Templeton at the Boys State, a mock government program where American Legion Auxiliary members teach participants to become knowledgeable stewards of freedom and democracy, as well as being patriotic citizens. His classmate, Mark Mitchell, was chosen as his alternate.

On Monday, March 11, the four nominees — Mudgett, Mitchell, Spencer Sanders, and Grant Hanson — were interviewed by Boys State representatives. It is an honor to be nominated as less than one percent of high school juniors from schools throughout California are selected for this nationally recognized conference. 

All four of the students were surprised and excited to be nominated themselves.

“I was certainly surprised, I really didn’t know what Boys State was,” said Mitchell of being nominated and then named the alternate. “I developed that understanding prior to the interview and even gained some insight during it. Being named an alternate was also surprising, it’s exciting to know I have an opportunity to attend such an esteemed conference.”

Mudgett, who will be heading to state, is an avid runner focusing on his track career with goals of operating his own business one day. 

He is hoping the experience at Boys State will give him leadership skills and connections to use later in life. 

“I hope to gain good experience,” Mudgett said. “Make a memory of going to the event but also good leadership skills … also valuable skills that I can take with me throughout life and career.”

Students nominated for Boys State are at the top of their class academically and are outstanding leaders for their peers.

“It meant a lot for me just knowing all the staff members, all the teachers, thought that I was in the top four in the school to represent the school, represent the class,” said Mudgett of his nomination.

Added Sanders, “I’m glad to think that the teachers think of me as a good student in the school … to be considered top four was a cool experience.”

Sanders is looking forward to a future career in aerospace. The basketball and volleyball player is currently applying to the Air Force Academy or attend somewhere to earn his engineering degree. His highest hopes are to become an astronaut one day.

Staying active in numerous clubs like Chess and Interact, Sanders is an active member of the MUST! Charities Youth Board, Friday Night Live (FNL), and California Scholarship Federation (CSF).

But Sanders credits his hard work to his sister. He thanks her for inspiring him to work hard. 

“I have seen her make her way through high school and all that, and she did very well,” he said. “First of all, we are both very competitive, so I try to, I call it, I try to beat my sister, but I wouldn’t be able to unless she showed me the way.”

Hanson is also an active track and cross country athlete. He is also serving as the basketball team manager this year and is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), CSF, LINK Crew, Chess, and Foreign Language clubs. Before heading out to college, Hanson wants to serve a mission for his church and then attend Brigham Young University.

“My mom has always pushed me out of my boundaries because I like to stay and defend what I have,” said Hanson, who wants to thank his mom for helping shape the person he is today. “I don’t like to go out and try new stuff, but with my mom, she helps push me to get past my boundaries to achieve my goals. I am really grateful for her.”

He also wanted to thank his basketball coach, Lawren Ramos. 

“He helped me out a lot this year because I didn’t make the team, but I was a team manager, and I was down on myself during the season … but he said, ‘you’re still good enough to be here,’ and he always helped me through and helping my skills grow,” Hanson said.

Mitchell is a varsity player on both the football and volleyball teams at THS. He is also an active member of FFA raising and showing pigs, goats, lambs, turkeys, chickens, ducks, geese, and rabbits. He is currently the regional officer team for California FFA. 

After high school, Mitchell plans to attend a four-year university to study animal science or, potentially, ag systems management. He sees a possible future in attending veterinary school.

“I just hope to have a positive impact in my community, wherever that may be at the end of the day,” said Mitchell.

In June, Mudgett will be heading to the Boys State Conference in Sacramento. Boys State Alumni include celebrities like Jon Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, and Jonathon Shapiro, plus athletes and politicians like Michael Jordan and Bill Clinton, among many other notables.

Even though he was not chosen, Hanson says of the experience, “I am grateful that I was capable enough for this. I didn’t think I was.”

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