Etcetera - 06/28/10

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Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., announced the winner of the first annual Girls Rock the House competition at a May 31 event in Walla Walla. Elli Rassbach, an eighth-grader from Walla Walla, received the top prize.

Girls Rock the House is a national initiative for eighth-grade girls in political districts represented by women of the House of Representatives.

Led by an instructor, each group engages in a six-week, hands-on program that culminates in a national bill-writing contest. Each girl crafts and submits a bill to a local, impartial panel. Group winners then proceed to a district competition. District winners and their guardians from across the country then convene in Washington, D.C., for a two-and-a-half-day program.

"At a time when only 17 percent of the members of Congress are women, we need to be doing a better job of encouraging young women to become involved in public service," Cathy said. "That's why I'm a strong supporter of the Girls Rocks the House program. I am very proud of this year's winner, Elli Rassbach. She is well-deserving of this honor, and I look forward to meeting her again in Washington, D.C."

"I am very excited my bill won," Elli said in a release. "I appreciate Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers taking the time to become involved in Girls Rock the House. I hope this inspires other girls like it inspired me to become more interested in politics."

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Two Walla Walla students made Western Washington University's winter quarter honor roll: Timothy Duffy is included on the honor roll; and Jake Reller earned a 4.0 gpa.

In addition, three other local students earned their bachelor's degrees from WWU in Bellingham, and were awarded diplomas: Justin Van Dyk, College Place, political science; and Walla Wallans Julia Hagen Cochran, who majored in cellular and molecular biology; and Christopher Collison, who majored in political science.

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The National Society of High School Scholars selected Mac A. Clifton of College Place for membership. Mac, a Walla Walla High School student, can participate in various scholarship opportunities, academic competitions, free events and member-only resources through the society.

He was recognized for the hard work and commitment necessary for academic achievement. NSHSS was founded by Claes Nobel, a senior member of the family that established the Nobel Prizes.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313.

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