Phyllis Janke: Phyllis is the most senior member of the prestigious Zero Club on staff this year at Girls State, which she joined in 1975. Though she could do any job at Girls State, she has always been on Talent Staff. Phyllis says she loves the way the girls gain confidence in themselves throughout the session and when they leave GS, they are ready to make a positive impact on their hometowns and our world. In the real world, she recently retired as an elementary music teacher in Richmond. She lives on a farm in Needville with her husband, two children, numerous animals, and her beloved cat Willow. Phyllis is a member of ALA Unit 350.

Sarah Gates Altieri: Sarah was a citizen in the 2011 Girls State session and was elected the National Party’s Senate Whip. Now, she is one of the singers on the talent staff. She is from Columbus and graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in Biomedical Engineering. Now, she lives with her husband in Houston. She sings and plays piano and oboe. The best part of Girls State for her is getting to sing with the citizens and seeing how much they grow to love the songs of Girls State!

Anna Liu: Anna was a citizen in the 2012 session and is on the Talent Staff. She is from Tomball and is a Theatre and Political Science major at Saint Louis University. She sings, acts, dances, and plays piano and guitar. Her favorite part of Girls State was applying for Floor Leader, running for Mayor, and running for Governor, and is a proud member of the Zero Club!

Emily Toensing: Emily was a citizen in 2008 from La Grange and was elected County Commissioner of Tejas County. She began working on staff as a JC in 2009 and has been on talent staff since. Emily graduated from Texas Lutheran University with a degree in Finance. Emily loves to come back each year on staff because of the friendships she has made and to give citizens the best experience she could possibly give them, just as her experience as a citizen was amazing. In the real world, Emily lives in Austin with her fiancé and two dogs, and works for the Legislative Budget Board.

Left: Emily Toensing, Anna Liu, Phyllis Janke, Sarah Altieri
Left: Emily Toensing, Anna Liu, Phyllis Janke, Sarah Altieri