Westbrook High School juniors Katie Walsh and Cassidy Leighton were among eight of the 248 Maine juniors attending the 2009 Dirigo Girls State graduation ceremony to receive awards last Friday.

Girls State is sponsored by the American Legion and was held the week of June 22 at Husson University in Bangor.

While at Girls State, Leighton, daughter of Harold and Dawn Leighton, served as her town’s moderator and was elected to the mock Senate. She received her award as First Senator.

Walsh, daughter of Brian and Sharon Walsh, acted as her town’s selectman and was elected attorney general in the governor’s cabinet. She received the evening’s top honor of Dirigo Girls State First Outstanding Girl.

For being chosen First Outstanding Girl, Walsh received a scholarship and won a trip to Washington, D.C., where she and this year’s Girls State governor, Kate Weigel of Brewer, will represent Maine at Girls Nation.

Two girls from each state attend Girls Nation, which takes place the week of July 18. Each of the 50 will be acting as a senator and will have the opportunity to run for higher office.

Before leaving for Washington, Walsh and Weigel must write a bill that they hope to have passed by Girls Nation. The girls will get the chance to visit the Capitol and the White House and meet some political figures – including, they hope, President Obama.

Katie Walsh and Cassidy Leighton are honored at the 2009 Girls State graduation ceremony Friday. Walsh will be one of two girls to represent Maine at Girls Nation.


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