Ian Simpson Becomes First Central Student to Win Office at KYA in Four Years


Carter Cox, Staff Writer

Central Hardin Junior Ian Simpson accomplished an incredible feat at KYA 2019 by winning the Secretary of State position after a three-day weekend full of many campaigns from a variety of students across the state. 

The first Central Hardin student to win an office at KYA since 2016 graduate Garrett Kasey, Simpson said upon hearing the news, he immediately began thinking ahead.

“To be completely honest, my mind went blank,” Simpson said, “but I soon came to think about my future and immediately thought about next year’s KYA and I was already thinking of speech ideas and different camps and conventions I am going to attend in the coming year.

The road to success wasn’t easy.

“Well, first I had my administrator put in a candidate for the school,” Simpson said. “Next I had to come up with ideas on what to talk about, what to promote, campaign things mostly. My favorite [part] though was my service project. All candidates had to do a service project which was time you gave out of your life to help the community and [you had to] photograph it. I helped RaiseRed set up and helped them run the fundraiser all day because RaiseRed tied into my campaign beliefs, these [being] that life is precious and we can’t waste it.”

Y-Club sponsor Kacie Meyer had never experienced a student win at KYA; however, Ian’s preparation and personality gave her something to believe in.

“I was confident in him doing well, but we had never had anyone win before, so I didn’t know if this year was going to be the year or not. I feel like he was the most prepared person that I have taken that has run for office,” Meyer said. “I knew that he had been working on all of the things that he needed to be successful when he got there. He put a lot of work and thought into his ideas and his campaign. Also, Ian’s personality is golden for things of this nature. He is someone that probably never meets a stranger because he is willing to talk to anyone and be accepting of people for who they are. His humor, kind heart, and newfound maturity are what made it happen. I knew that when he campaigned students there would love him. With the combination of his personality and hard work it really did raise my confidence in our school to  actually come home victorious.”

The last Central Hardin student to run for office at KYA was 2019 graduate Jakob Sherrard. While he did not win, his experience helps in understanding how Simpson was successful.

“Ian has a sense of humor that strongly resonates with his age group,” Sherrard said. “This sense of humor makes him extremely relatable to the kids that’d be voting for him so I’d have to say that his sense of humor won it for him for sure.”

Sherrard also believes that this can be a catalyst for future students to run for office at KYA, and Central can become more prominent.

“I think so. Ian’s experience running and winning means that he can serve as a great resource for future kids that want to run,” Sherrard said..”It’s just up to Ian and the rest of the older kids in our club to help build up our Y-Club and make it more integral on Central’s campus and competitive at conferences.”

Meyer also believes Ian’s success could lead to future students potentially doing more.

“Absolutely. When you finally see someone succeed it makes you think, Maybe I could do that. He will be able to help future students at Central Hardin know what to expect and how to handle some of the things that he had to overcome to be successful.”

Meyer said Simpson, and only Simpson, was responsible for his campaign. 

“Ian’s campaign was truly in ‘Ian fashion.’ He ran ideas by me to make sure that I thought things were going to be okay, but he truly did all of the work himself. I try to support the people that are running for office as much as I can, but still, let it be all on them.”

Ian’s campaign brought the expected: a range of emotions.

“Nerves, stress, excitement, but mostly nerves that was the killer. Not nerves about the campaign but nerves about embarrassing myself and messing up.”

Simpson said he had help from multiple people, including Mrs. Meyer, his parents, Riley Reed, Hadley Whitsell, and the other Y-Club officers.

After overcoming the mental barriers, Simpson looks forward to experiencing the benefits of his new position.

“Getting to meet new people and experiencing more of the world, I’m excited to work with new people and get a different point of view on ideas and issues.”

He also feels like there might be a future for himself in the world of politics.

“Oh my gosh yes, my goal in the future is to study political science and history and either go into teaching or politics.”