‘Delegate for a Day’
Published 9:39 pm Wednesday, March 7, 2012
By Alex Morton
Capital News Service
Instead of sitting in a classroom studying government, students from more than 15 schools in Delegate Rick Morris’ House district got front-row seats to see how laws were made this legislative session. They participated in Morris’ “Delegate for a Day” program, which wrapped up last week.
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Morris, a Republican from Carrollton, is the only delegate to hold this type of activity for students. He said the program gives young people an opportunity to become involved in the legislative process. He has hosted middle school and high school students from both public and private schools in his district.
“They get good insight on the process for passing bills, how they cross into the Senate, and what constituent and lobbyist meetings are like,” Morris said.
The first-term legislator represents the 64th House District, which includes parts of Isle of Wight, Prince George, Southampton, Surry and Sussex counties and parts of the cities of Franklin and Suffolk.
The last student to participate in the program was Spencer Snyder, a senior at Windsor High School in Isle of Wight County. Snyder, 18, said he was interested in the program, because he hopes to pursue a career in politics.
“I’d like to work in state government,” Snyder said, and adding as he pointed to Morris, “especially after he retires.”
Snyder said he plans to attend college and pursue a bachelor’s degree in political science and eventually a law degree. He said he would recommend this program to any student, especially someone interested in politics.
Michael Newman, the principal of Windsor High School, said that when Morris invited the school to participate in the program, Sydney immediately came to mind. Newman and other members of the school’s staff thought Snyder would be a good candidate, because he has expressed interest in many grassroots activities.
“Spencer has experience with leading and speaking in front of the student body,” Newman said. “He is very involved in local things and would be a natural for an opportunity like this.”
Snyder was accompanied by his government teacher, Marquita Hockaday. Hockaday was the only teacher who attended Morris’ program.
Newman said he was pleased that both Snyder and Hockaday were allowed to attend.
“I was very happy that she was able to go, too,” Newman said. “This is a person who teaches about the legislative process, and what better way to share the process with her students.”