BCSD students experience the democratic process firsthand

Youth In Government
Posted on 11/29/2018
South Carolina State House

Thursday, November 29, 2018

High school students take top honors, win key
elections at Youth in Government conference

BEAUFORT – Students from three Beaufort County high schools earned numerous top honors and won key elections at the recent state 2018 Model Legislature and Court conference in Columbia.

More than 1,500 high school students attended the three-day event at the Columbia Convention Center, participating in simulations of South Carolina's democratic process. Acting as state legislators, the students wrote, debated and voted on legislation.  Students also acted as candidates, lobbyists, news media, lawyers and judges.  Officers elected by students serve as Governor, Lt. Governor, Speaker of the House, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Secretary of Education and Comptroller General.

Beaufort High and Bluffton High students were honored as “premier delegations” at the annual conference.  In addition, Beaufort, Bluffton and May River high school students earned a variety of individual honors.

“Year in and year out, our district’s student representatives are the gold standard at the state Youth in Government Conference,” said Interim Superintendent Herb Berg.  “This year’s conference was no exception, and our students once again turned in outstanding performances.”

Four of the five statewide officials at this year’s conference were Beaufort County School District students:

  • Governor Maile Paulmeier (Bluffton)
  • Lt. Governor John Acker (Bluffton)
  • Attorney General Caleb Weis (Bluffton)
  • Superintendent of Education Maya Williams (May River)

In addition, several statewide officials elected for next year’s conference are Beaufort County School District students:

  • Speaker of House:  Zoe Paulmeier (Bluffton)
  • Secretary of State:  Kate Anderson (Bluffton)
  • Co-Comptroller General:  Savannah Bush (May River) and Joseph Nouri (Bluffton)

Additional recognitions at the conference

Mock Legislature individual awards

  • Jackson Colin (Bluffton) – Outstanding Statesman for the Premier House of Representatives
  • Siris Liptak (Bluffton) – Outstanding Statesman for the Senate

Bill Award

  • Dustin Wyatt and Adamarys Lopez (Bluffton) – Outstanding Bill in the Premier House of Representatives
  • Miranda and Daniella Jimenez, Veronica Villavicencio (May River) – Outstanding Bill in the House of Representatives


  • John Acker (Bluffton) – Drew Everson Outstanding Leadership Award
  • Miranda Costillo (May River) – Senator Clemente Pinckney Award
  • Zoe Rogerson (Beaufort) – Terry Haskins Christian Leadership Award

National conferences

  • John Acker, Maile Paulmeier, Zoe Paulmeier, Rachel Riley, Caleb Watkins, Caleb Weis, alternates Katherine Anderson and David Chacon (Bluffton) – Chosen to attend the 2019 national Conference on National Affairs.
  • MacKrenzi Krominus (May River); John Acker, Meile Paulmeier, Caleb Watkins, Caleb Weis (Bluffton) – Chosen to attend the 2019 National Judicial Conference 

Additional recognitions

  • MacKenzie Krominus (May River) was awarded a scholarship to the National Judicial Competition in Chicago (one of very few sophomores in the state).
  • Jackson Buick (May River) won the Best Witness Award in the Trial Team Program.
  • Beaufort High’s delegation saw 100 percent of its proposed bills signed into law.
  • Beaufort High’s Trial Team of Nicholas Moser, Zoe Rogerson, Ana Thacker and Lindsey Beaux finished in the Top 15 out of 61 teams from across South Carolina.