Students get look at government

Published 10:25 am Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Nearly 30 seniors at Central High School got to see county and town government in action during Youth Government Days last Wednesday and Thursday.

During the program, students got to visit and shadow officials in the towns of Victoria and Kenbridge, and meet with county administration, the Commonwealth’s Attorney and other officials in Lunenburg.

Thursday, students took seats at the gymnasium and observed the Lunenburg County Board of Supervisors meeting, which took place at the school.

Following the meeting, students enjoyed a hearty lunch provided by the Rotary Club of Lunenburg.

Alan Hershberger, social studies teacher at the school, organized the event and said it offers students a chance to become informed of local government activity and learn skills that could help them become future leaders.

“Students went to the Lunenburg Courthouse, the Victoria Town Office, Kenbridge Town Office and the School Board Office, and shadowed various county and town officials for several hours. Students got a firsthand look at how the county and town works from day to day,” Hershberger said in an email. “They also got a chance to meet some of the people who help this county function and keep it running each day. Students also got a chance to start making connections and building networks for future career opportunities.”

County Administrator Tracy Gee said she met a group of students Wednesday and was impressed by the students’ curiosity and enthusiasm.

“These are very intelligent students who are heading out into the world,” Gee said.

Division Superintendent Charles Berkley asked students to stand while audience members applauded, and he thanked students for their involvement.

“In a few years, you all might be filling these shoes,” Berkley said to the students, referring to those in town or county leadership. He encouraged students to continue pursuing and developing their interests and leadership skills.

Senior student Lauren Guillen said she was excited for the opportunity to see the board of supervisors meeting in action.

“We were here to see the meeting take place,” Guillen said.

Senior Shane Duers said his favorite aspect of the Youth Government Days was meeting with Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert Clement and learning more about the ins and outs of the county judicial system. He said he and a group of other students got to sit in during court and view preliminary hearings for traffic-related violations and other issues.

“It was very cool,” Duers said.