From Harford County Public Schools:
Six high school seniors were recently selected to serve as student pages for the 2016 Maryland General Assembly, including Sophia Ames of Edgewood High School, Will Bolton of The John Carroll School, Emily Godwin of C. Milton Wright High School, Caroline Hickman of C. Milton Wright High School, Madelyn Miller of Edgewood High School, and Kishan Patel of The John Carroll School.
Pages were hand-selected following a grueling application process that included a written test and an extensive oral interview before a 12-person committee, consisting of peers and educators from around the county, who tested the applicants on their knowledge of politics and other various topics. Based on a published rubric, the five highest scorers have the honor of being a page in Annapolis; the sixth highest score on the rubric is the alternate who will replace anyone who cannot serve due to illness.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime, behind-the-scenes experience for prospective law, government and policy students to experience first-hand the inner workings of state government and politics,” said J. Patrick Whitehurst, coordinator of the student page program in Harford County and Fallston High School government teacher.
A Student Page Breakfast was held December 3 at Patterson Mill High School, and the newly named pages spent the morning getting to know each other and the elected officials they will assist during the session. They were afforded the opportunity to ask questions and exchange contact information. The pages’ parents, as well as school and elected officials, were invited to the breakfast, hosted by the Patterson Mill’s Foods and Hospitality Management students.
Keynote speaker Mrs. Kimala Vienneau Humphreys, mathematics teacher at C. Milton Wright High School and former student page in 1987, took a moment to share her insight about serving in Annapolis as a page and told the pages they would treasure this experience as they go on to college.
Harford Delegate Teresa Reilly also addressed the pages, stressing how unique the experience will be as they witness elected officials from different experiences and areas all working together for the greater good. “We are looking forward to working with each of you.”
In addition to Delegate Reilly, other elected officials in attendance were Delegates Susan McComas, Mary Ann Lisanti and Kathy Szeliga.
Board of Education of Harford County Vice President Joseph Vohskul and Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment Susan Brown brought greetings from the school system. Dr. Brown commended the pages for having been selected following the intense application process that “would be daunting to even an adult.”
Miss Sophia Ames, 17, is a student in the International Baccalaureate Program. She is president of the National French Honor Society and a member of the National Honor Society and the Student Government Association. She is an active horseback rider in the Penn Morgan Horse Club. Miss Ames hopes to attend UMass Amherst in the fall.
Mr. Will Bolton, 18, is a three-year varsity lacrosse player, football player and swimmer. He is also the ‘Perspectives’ editor for his school newspaper. In the fall, Mr. Bolton hopes to attend Washington and Lee or Saint Mary’s College of Maryland.
Miss Emily Godwin, 17, takes Advanced Placement classes and plays in the C. Milton Wright High School Band and on the school’s soccer and cross country teams. She is also a member of the mock trial team. Miss Godwin plans to attend University of Maryland Baltimore County to major in computer science.
Miss Carolyn Hickman, 17, is a member of the National Honor Society and the German National Honor Society and is vice president of the Tri-M Music Honor Society. She serves on the Senior Class Council, is a senior mentor and plays Varsity Volleyball. Miss Hickman will study public policy at college in the fall.
Miss Madelyn Miller, 17, is a student in the International Baccalaureate Program and is Treasurer of the French Honor Society, a member of the National Honor Society, captain of the Women’s Varsity Swim Team, editor of the Aries yearbook, and is a commended National Honor Scholar. She hopes to attend either University of Pennsylvania or University of Maryland in the fall.
Mr. Kishan Patel, 17, is a three-sport varsity athlete (football and indoor and outdoor track); Student Government President; online editor-in-chief of John Carroll’s national award-winning newspaper, The Patriot; president of the school’s Spirit Club, SADD and FBLA clubs; captain of the Patriot Hospitality Group; and is a certified peer counselor and co-founder of Peer Counseling Group. In addition, Mr. Patel is the youngest member serving on the Isso (Temple Board) for MDDC Branch and is the NNDYM Leader at Temple in Reisterstown, MD. In the fall, he hopes to attend Villanova University Dental Affiliate of University of Pennsylvania Dental School or Case Western Reserve University Dental Program.
The pages will serve in the 2016 legislative session that will begin in early January and continue 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. The pages are paid a stipend to cover their living expenses.
The statewide Student Page Program in Annapolis has been ongoing for about 35 years. Every high school in the county is urged to participate in the program, and each school has an equal chance of having its candidate(s) score in the top five to become a page in Annapolis.