BURLINGTON — Burlington High School senior Mariana Beltran Hernandez had the honor of introducing Tony Evers, Wisconsin’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, at his State of Education address.
The address took place on Sept. 21 at the State Capitol Rotunda in Madison.
In addition to attending the address, Beltran Hernandez attended a reception with representatives from the Department of Public Instruction and school superintendents from across the state. She visited the Department of Public Instruction and met Superintendent Evers. Sheila Briggs, assistant state superintendent and a 1987 graduate of Burlington High School, was her host for the day.
This opportunity didn’t come as a surprise to those who work with Beltran Hernandez at Burlington High School. School counselor and BHS Key Club faculty adviser Jennifer Reuchlen stated, “In all her endeavors, Mariana excels. She is compassionate, generous and open-minded. She leads by serving others.”
Beltran Hernandez received this opportunity by being elected to the role of superintendent of public instruction during her experience at Badger Girls State. In June, Burlington High School sent two representatives to the conference — Beltran Hernandez and senior Grace Boyle — which took place at University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
“It was an extremely powerful experience to learn about our country and create our own little fictional state,” Beltran Hernandez said about Badger Girls State. “The atmosphere was kind, loving, and uplifting.” Beltran Hernandez had the opportunity to meet Gov. Scott Walker, who attended her inauguration during the conference.
“She used her experience from Badger Girls State to run a mock House of Representatives in my AP American Government and Politics class,” said Josh Dow, a social studies teacher at the high school. “She took the lead and ran the simulation with very little assistance.”
At the annual address, Superintendent Evers reviewed the state of public education in Wisconsin and set the direction for the future. He honored Friends of Education and Teachers of the Year. Peter Smet, district superintendent, and Eric Burling, principal for Burlington High School, represented Burlington Area School District. Beltran Hernandez’s parents, Maria Hernandez and Rene Beltran, and two sisters also attended the event.