2018 Session

Welcome to the 2018 Session of Nevada Girls State!

We have named our Cities for some of the inspirational women in the American Legion Auxiliary and for some of our Nevada women who were, or are, active in politics and are role models for all.

BARBARA BUCKLEY CITY is named for the first women to serve as Speaker of the Assembly in the State of Nevada. Prior to becoming the Speaker, she served in the Assembly before serving as Assistant Majority Floor Leader. She was also the first woman to hold the position of Assembly Majority Leader for the Nevada State Legislature.

PATTY CAFFERATA CITY is named for the first woman to be elected to constitutional office in Nevada when she was elected State Treasurer in 1982. An attorney, author, and historian, she has had a diverse career in law and politics. She has also served Nevada as a district attorney in three (3) counties and as a member of the Nevada Assembly.

GERALDINE CONNOLLY CITY is named for our past Nevada Girls State Director. Mrs. Connolly was the Director for more than 30 years and she had on the Board of Directors since 1965. Mrs. Connolly passed away in 2008 leaving Nevada Girls State as her legacy. She has left us with some big shoes to fill. We will do our best to honor her.

BERNICE MATHEWS CITY is named for the first African-American woman elected to the Nevada Senate. She served in the State Senate from 1995 to 2010. During that time, she served as Assistant Minority Floor Leader. Additionally, she served as a member of the Reno City Council. Bernice Mathews holds a Bachelor of Science – Nursing and a Masters of Education from UNR.

SUE WAGNER CITY is named for the former Lieutenant Governor of the State of Nevada and was the first woman to hold this office in Nevada. She served in the Assembly and in the Senate before becoming Lt. Governor. She spoke to the Nevada Girls State citizens each year for 21 years, and is dedicated to the program. She is also a Girls State alumna, having attended in Arizona.



The Counties of Nevada Girls State are always named in honor of distinguished members of the American Legion Family, Department of Nevada. This year, we have two counties, each consisting of an equal number of citizens, and they are named for:

NANCY MICHALSKI from Henderson is our current Western Division National Vice President for the American Legion Auxiliary. A member of BMI Unit 40 for over 15 years, she is eligible through the service of husband, Ron Michalski. She has served the Department of Nevada in a number of different offices over the years. Nancy is extremely committed to our country’s veterans, as evidenced by her extensive works. She serves on the Executive committee for the ALA Veteran Affairs and Veterans Service program in Nevada, and on the board of the Nevada Veterans Assistance League, a program that gives assistance to the veterans at the veterans home in Boulder City.  She also volunteers at the home and the Veterans Southeast clinic in Henderson. Additionally, she is a member of 8&40, a fraternal organization of the ALA, which helps children with respiratory illness. 

YVETTE WEIGOLD is the current Commander for the American Legion Department of Nevada. She was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1963 and has been full of drive, ambition, compassion, and curiosity ever since. At a young age she took an interest in developing her sense of self and seeing the world, so she joined the Marine Corps right out of high school and served for 6 years, then joined the Army Reserves where she served for 20 years. She is proud to have spent time not only serving her country, but also proud of raising her family during this time as well. Starting in 2015, she worked to obtain her Associate’s degree in General Studies and received her Bachelor’s of Science in Sports and Health Sciences in 2017. After taking a break, she hopes to pursue a Master’s degree as well. Yvette is an 11-year member of the American Legion and is a Past Commander of Paradise Post #149 and a Past Vice Commander of 2nd District in the State of Nevada. She currently works as a contractor for the Nevada National Guard in the Family Programs Office.


The political Parties at Nevada Girls State are the same as almost every other Girls State in our nation: the Nationalist Party and the Federalist Party. Here you will find our parties with equal membership, unless we have an odd number of delegates in attendance; then one party will have one additional member. The party mascots are Feddy Teddy, representing the Federalist Party, and Nattie Raccoon, representing the Nationalist Party.