Valdosta City School District

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Dane Tillman, VHS Senior, Selected to 2016 Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship National Student Congress

The Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship, an innovative non-profit dedicated to educating a new generation of leaders in the essential skills of negotiation, dialogue, and compromise, announced the acceptance of its 2016 class of National Student Congress. Only 50 students from across the United States are invited to attend each year.
“This year’s incoming class to the Student Congress is a well-rounded group of outstanding students,” said Michael Vetter, Executive Director of the Henry Clay Center “We look forward to the intelligent political discourse and thoughtful discussions on public policy.” 

The Student Congress program is completely free of cost (travel and lodging included) to those selected from the competitive application process. Current college juniors and high school juniors with records of exceptional academic and extracurricular achievement were chosen for this once-in-a-lifetime academic and personal development course. The high school program will be held June 12th to June 18th. The college program will be June 19th to June 25th.  

During that week, participants will have the opportunity to meet with lawmakers, academics, journalists, and civic leaders to discuss the practical importance of compromise and constructive engagement and dialogue to resolve conflict and competing interests in a democracy. Nationally-recognized guest speakers engage in seminars with the students, followed by a student debate on a current topic in the Old State Capitol in nearby Frankfort, Kentucky.  Past speakers have included justices of the Supreme Court; U.S. Speakers of the House, governors, U.S. Senators and other nationally recognized officials and academic thought leaders. 

About the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship

The Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship was formed in 2007, and is an innovative youth leadership program inspired by Henry Clay, one of our nation’s most revered leaders. He served with distinction as Secretary of State, U.S. Senator and Speaker of the House, leaving a profound legacy as our nation’s “Great Compromiser.” The Center imparts the skills of public dialogue and leadership to bring about change in an increasingly polarized public and civic environment. For more information visit:  or @henryclaycenter.

About Dane Tillman 

Dane Tillman will graduate Valdosta High School as a member of the Class of 2017.  He is a product of Valdosta City Schools from elementary through high school.  Dane began kindergarten at S.L. Mason Elementary, moved on to Valdosta Middle and is now at Valdosta High.  He has garnered many accolades during his years in the district.  The International Baccalaureate student is ranked in the top five percent of his class, is a Georgia Merit Award Winner and he has been involved in many clubs and student organizations.  Dane is the captain of the VHS Speech and Debate Team, where he was also a state qualifier in the Lincoln Douglas Novice and Varsity Debate.  He is a graduate of the Lowndes Youth Leadership League and a member of the First Federal Bank Student Advisory Board.  Dane is a staff writer for the VHS Paw inPrint student newspaper, member of the Beta Club and the treasurer for the VHS Student Council.  

This summer after attending Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship National Student Congress, Dane will spend four weeks with the Governor’s Honors Program (GHP) in the area of communicative arts.  At the completion of GHP he will travel to Black Mountain, North Carolina where he will finish out the summer as a counselor in training (CIT) for Camp Timberlake.  While there, Dane will hike the Appalachian Trail.