Elected officials visit 6th grade
Mrs. Kristi Sines’ 6th Grade Civics classes welcomed four local politicians May 9 as part of their local government unit. Meyersdale Mayor Michael Brant, Somerset County Commissioner Gerald Walker, PA State Representative Matthew Dowling and PA State Senator Pat Stefano provided the students with information on their respective roles and positions within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
“Our 6th graders were graced with the opportunity to meet and participate in a question and answer session with members of our local and state government. Our panel of elected officials Mayor Brant, Senator Stefano, Commissioner Walker and Representative Dowling did an excellent job teaching our students about their roles in our government and how various levels of government work together,” Sines explained. “The students thoroughly enjoyed being able to ask the aforementioned individuals questions and learning how the process of local/state government works.”
Students prepared questions for the local politicians and all four were in agreement that the questions were thoughtful and concise.
“I can't believe you are just in sixth grade, you have a great understanding of the role of local government and your questions were thoughtful and intelligent,” Walker told the students.
Questions included topics such as natural disasters, road repairs and housing. One topic that garnered considerable discussion was Route 160 through Wellersburg and the recent rash of tractor trailer truck accidents.
“One of the most interesting elements of the presentation was the explanation from the various officials showcasing real life situations where their offices have come together in order to work on projects that would best serve the communities. The sixth graders were able to see firsthand the connections between the positions of mayor, commissioner, representatives and senators and how these individuals work together on a daily basis,” Sines added.
Students also asked each elected official about their backgrounds and how they became
interested in public service. Each encouraged the students to remain engaged in their communities and consider public service in their own futures.
“I believe that it is very beneficial to for students to see members of our local and state government reach out across party lines in order and work cooperatively to best meet the needs of their constituents. This typical of quality government was demonstrated to Meyersdale students today,” Sines said. “We are extremely appreciative and honored that all four members of the panel moved their schedules around and took the time to participate in our local government presentation. Being able to put a name with the face along with personally meeting these individuals was definitely a treat for Meyersdale students!”