South Orangetown Central School District

Tappan Zee High School students played a leading role in the Alliance of New York State YMCAs’ 2022 Youth and Government (YAG) conference in Albany last weekend. Senior and TZHS YAG Co-President Katrina Christopher Peel led the conference as Youth Governor, a position to which she was elected by delegates statewide last year. Junior Meline Kalishian served as Editor-in-Chief of the Press Corps, junior and TZHS YAG Vice President Matthew Tobin was Secretary of State, senior and TZHS YAG Co-President Amy Kugelman served as Commissioner of Education, junior Ailish MacDonnell was Principal Justice and freshman Mary McCormack served as a Committee Chair.

“We had 25 members participating in this year’s conference–the first in-person conference for most–and we are incredibly proud. Considering that we are still a fairly new club, we showed out big this year,” Peel reported.

In fact, the TZHS delegation earned a number of honors again this year:

  • Kalishian was reelected as Editor-in-Chief for 2023
  • Tobin, MacDonnell and Peel were selected to participate in the Conference on National Affairs this summer in North Carolina
  • Kugelman and Tobin were named Outstanding Debaters
  • Outstanding Bill honors went to co-authors Kugelman, Tobin and senior Jules Cambell who co-authored a bill about transitioning public buildings to sustainable energy sources, which was endorsed by the Youth Governor in the State of the State Address
  • Freshman Rebecca Matthew earned Outstanding Brief regarding a worker’s compensation case
  • Tobin was one of four juniors statewide to be awarded with the Fosdick-San Antonio Memorial Scholarship for leadership, community involvement and service to others

Through YAG, students participate in a mock state government. Members prepare for their roles at the annual state conference throughout the school year, by learning about a variety of issues, practicing debate and presentation skills and collaborating with peers from across the state. Legislative branch committees research, prepare and debate bills for new laws in the New York State Senate and Assembly chambers. Judicial delegates argue cases and write decisions and Press Corps members write articles and document the annual conference via social media.

Congratulations, TZHS YAG 2022 state delegates!

TZHS YAG 2022 NYS delegation