From Harford County Public Schools:
Six high school seniors were recently selected to serve as student pages for the 2010 Maryland General Assembly, including Rachel Cooper and Alex Hutcheson of C. Milton Wright High School, Brandon Ellis of Joppatowne High School, Kate Kidwell of Fallston High School, and Katherine Clarke and Kate Froelich of John Carroll High School.
Pages were selected after submitting an application and participating in an extensive interview before a 12-person committee, consisting of students and educators from around the county, who tested the applicants on their knowledge of politics and other various topics. The committee was not informed of which school the applicant attends prior to the decision.
A Student Page Breakfast was held December 3, 2009, at Fallston High School, and the newly-elected pages spent the morning getting to know each other and the elected o?cials they will assist during the session. They were a?orded the opportunity to ask questions as well.
Aberdeen High School Guidance Counselor Kimala Humphreys, once a student page herself, took a moment to share some memories and bits of advice with the pages. As the keynote speaker, Ms. Humphreys reminisced about her unforgettable experience.
“I have a vivid memory of the first night of page week,” said Ms. Humphreys. “All 14 of us decided to go to the same pizza place. I had this amazing feeling of togetherness and that we were about to embark on something special. That first night was magic.”
Delegate J.B. Jennings, a representative for the Harford Delegation, also addressed the group which consisted of the pages and their parents, as well as school and elected o?cials. He welcomed those in attendance and assured the pages, “We are your friends, if you have any questions or concerns, we are there for you.”
In addition to Del. J.B. Jennings, other elected o?cials in attendance were Delegates Susan McComas, Wayne Norman and Daniel Riley. Senators Barry Glassman, Andrew Harris and Nancy Jacobs were also on-hand.
J. Patrick Whitehurst, 18-year coordinator of the student page program in Harford County and Fallston High government teacher, also spoke, detailing the competitive selection process pages endured and announcing, “We are very pleased with the representatives sitting in front of us.”
Ms. Rachel Cooper, 17, of Bel Air, is a member of the National Honor Society, the French National Honor Society, the Young Representatives Club, Junior Statesmen of America, Model United Nations and the Debate Team. In addition, she works part-time in retail and as a camp counselor.
Ms. Cooper plans to attend Stanford University in the fall, pursuing a double major in political science and economics.
Mr. Alex Hutcheson, 18, is the son of Douglas and Stephanie Hutcheson of Bel Air. Mr. Hutcheson is a member of the Student Government Association (SGA), the Senior Class Delegation and the Senior Class Council. He is in the process of becoming an Eagle Scoutand participated in Maryland Boys State, a week-long residential government education and simulation program.
Mr. Hutcheson plans to pursue a career in politics, but intends to major in computer engineering in college. He is not yet sure where he will be attending in the fall.
Brandon Ellis, 17, is the son of Bobby and Nicki Ellis of Edgewood. Mr. Ellis is a member of SGA and Leo club. He is also a member of the Spanish National Honor Society and the Spanish Club. He says he gained interest in the page program from a presentation by the 2009 pages.
Mr. Ellis is unsure which college he will be attending next fall, but plans to major in history education.
Ms. Kate Kidwell, 17, is the daughter of Richard and Karen Kidwell of Fallston. Ms. Kidwell is a member of the Future Business Leaders of America, the Academic Team, the Student Book Club, Tri-M Music Honor Society, French Honor Society and the National Honor Society. She plays varsity tennis, is a member of the concert and marching band, is a Carson Scholar, and tutors in math and English. She also currently serves as the student representative on the Board of Education of Harford County.
Ms. Kidwell plans to attend a four-year college or university next fall to study either government or cognitive science.
Ms. Katherine Clark, 17, is the daughter of Joanne and Brian Clarke of Bel Air. Ms. Clarke is an editor for John Carroll’s student newspaper and is editor-in-chief of the Literary Art magazine. She is a member of the National Honor Society, the National Spanish Honor Society and is a representative on the SGA. She has participated in a Spanish Exchange program, studying twice in Toledo, Spain, and has hosted two Spanish exchange students. Adding to her busy schedule, she maintains a part-time job, working 15-20 hours a week.
Ms. Clarke has applied to the University of Maryland College Park, George Washington University and Georgetown University with plans to major in international studies or government politics.
Ms. Kate Froelich, 17, is the daughter of John and Lisa Froelich of Fallston. Ms. Froelich is a varsity cheerleader for John Carroll High School, a SGA representative, executive editor for John Carroll’s student newspaper and is a member of the French National Honor Society and the Green Team.
Ms. Froelich has applied to the University of Pennsylvania and Villanova University with intentions to major in business management with a minor in journalism or history.
The pages will serve in the current 2010 legislative session that began earlier this month and continues through April. They will spend two, non-consecutive weeks with host families in Annapolis while serving in either the House of Delegates or the Maryland Senate. They will perform various tasks such as filing books, running errands and sitting in on meetings and hearings. Although they will be absent from school for a total of two weeks, pages are still expected to make-up any work they miss while attending the session.
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