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Shimkus named to board overseeing West Point, his alma mater

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 19, 2009 - U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, has been named to the board of his alma mater, the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.

Called the Board of Visitors, the 15-member panel is set up by federal law. According to its Charter, the board "shall provide the President of the United States independent advice and recommendations on matters relating to the U.S. Military Academy, to include but not limited to morale and discipline, curriculum, instruction, physical equipment, fiscal affairs, and academic methods." 
"As a graduate of West Point and strong supporter of the military, I am honored to be able to continue in a close relationship with my alma mater," Shimkus said in a statement.  "The Board of Visitors is not exactly like a university board of trustees, as we can only advise not set policyregarding the Academy."
According to the congressman's release:

"The Board is comprised of not more than 15 people, including the chairperson of both the House and Senate Committees on Armed Services; three additional members of the Senate, two of which must be members of the Committee on Appropriations; four other members of the House, two of which must be members of the Committee on Appropriations; and six people appointed by the President.
"The current Board chairperson is Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas.  The Board meets four times annually, and the meetings are open to the public.  There is no compensation for serving on the Board."

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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