Montgomery Catholic Students Work as Pages in the State House

Montgomery Catholic Students Work as Pages in the State House 1

When planning for summer break, most high school students will pull out swimsuits and beach towels. For two Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School students, blazers, ties, and dress shoes were required as they spent some time working in the Alabama State House during the legislative session. Junior Ellie Pool paged for Representative Reed Ingram and senior Ja’Michael Washington paged for Senator David Burkette.

Pages play an important role for legislators by helping them to set up the chambers for the day’s events, making and distributing copies of documents, and performing general clerical duties. Pages also facilitate communication by delivering messages between legislators in the House or Senate chambers with people who are outside of the chambers. And while pages are assigned to specific representatives and senators, many pages run errands for multiple members of the legislature.
“It was a lot of work, but it was also a lot of fun,” said Ellie about her week in the State House. “It was really interesting to see the legislature in session and to see how much goes into the writing and passing of bills.”
Ja’Michael echoed Ellie’s sentiments and said that his experience helped him to understand the inner
workings of government better. “I was not aware of how involved the legislative process was,” he said. “I got to see how much work and preparation goes into the defense of each bill.”
Montgomery Catholic Students Work as Pages in the State House 2In addition to normal page duties, Ja’Michael also got to lead the entire Senate in the Pledge of Allegiance. “They asked for a volunteer to lead, and I stepped up,” he said. “I was a little nervous about messing it up, but it went just fine.”
When asked about the most interesting aspects of the experience, both students said that the discussion of bills on the House and Senate floors was fascinating.
“I learned so much by watching the debates,” said Ellie. “The discussion could get a little heated while the representatives were going back and forth on the issues on the floor, and everyone was very passionate about the legislation they were trying to pass. There was once an entire day dedicated to discussing education bills.”
Ja’Michael admitted that his week as a page has influenced his outlook on government. “I didn’t have as much of an interest in politics before working as a page, but now I know that it is important to be involved in the political process. It is crucial to vote for those who will be representing your district.”
While Ellie said that she has yet to decide whether a career in government is in her future, she did make some connections during her time in the State House. “I really enjoyed getting to meet the other pages,” she said. “I connected with so many cool people from all over the state.”
The Alabama House of Representatives and Senate Page Programs offer young men and women a rare glimpse of the House and Senate chambers when the legislature is in session. Pages get to meet their state legislators, watch parliamentary procedure in action, and observe committee meetings. In addition to interacting with the legislators, students also have an opportunity to network with their peers who have traveled to Montgomery from all over the state of Alabama.

Montgomery Catholic Students Work as Pages in the State House 3Montgomery Catholic Students Work as Pages in the State House 4

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