Martha H. Collis grew up in Amarillo. Her career path of 45 years began as a “soda jerk” in a drug store and upgraded into credit collections for a major jewelry corporation. Martha joined the ALA in Amarillo in 1966. When she moved to Plainview in 1971, she became very active in the Auxiliary. She has served as Unit President, Department Field Service Director, and Department Finance Chairman. She is the past Department Historian and currently serves on the Department Finance Committee. Girls State became a part of her life in 1991 when Martha served in the Gift Shop, Office, and Bank. She developed a great love for the program while serving in the ALA and has created many friendships through the years. She currently serves on the Girls State Committee.
Myra Hester is a Girls State institution. Myra was born and educated in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was a World War II bride who became a widow in 1977. Myra joined the ALA in 1953 (Unit 77 in Houston). She served as President of the American Legion Auxiliary, Department of Texas, in 1968-1969 and the National Southern Division Vice-President in 1981-1982. Through her 60 years of continuous service to the Auxiliary, she has served in many capacities. She first served on the Girls State Staff in 1966 and has never missed a year, which makes this her 54th. She has three daughters, five granddaughters, one grandson, and twelve great-grandchildren. Myra says her greatest joy at GS was carrying the Auxiliary banner in the Flag Ceremony at the School for the Blind in 1967.
Virginia Donnelly has been a member of the ALA for 32 years. She is also the President and Girls State Chairman for Alvin Unit 129. A citizen in 1972, she has been on staff since 2006. Service to GS is a family tradition—Virginia is a 3rd generation staff member. Her grandmother Nedra Ogle was a Girls State Bank Chairman. Her mother, Cecilia Jones, a citizen in 1951 served for many years, and her daughter, Jenna, a 2004 citizen, has also been on staff. Virginia’s other daughter Blair was a citizen in 2004. Throughout the year, Virginia volunteers for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo as a Committee Member of Special Children and the Lupus Foundation.
Jenna Brown was a citizen in 2004, where her love of public service and government was born. Jenna believes that Bluebonnet Girls State allows for young ladies to learn about local and state government, while gaining a sense of self and leadership. She lives in Manuel with her husband, daughter, and son. Jenna graduated from Texas A&M University and works at Baylor College of Medicine.
Dixie Jones has two daughters and one son. Her daughters, Natalie and Michele were Girls State citizens in 2004 and 2001. Dixie lives in Alvin where she works in Education as an elementary principal. She graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in Horticulture. She returns to Girls State to work with high quality young women from all over the state of Texas. The passion and energy of the citizens and staff are inspiring to her. 3;\