Student Government Day provides firsthand look at Henrico government, school operations

More than 100 students from Henrico County high schools on Wednesday got a close look at their local government and public schools administrations during the 57th annual Student Government Day.

The program matched students from nine high schools with elected and appointed officials, including members of the Board of Supervisors and School Board, county manager, superintendent, department directors and judges. Students spent the day interacting with decision-makers, gaining insight into how Henrico general government and Henrico County Public Schools work on behalf of residents and others in the community.

“Student Government Day is a tremendous learning opportunity for our high school students,” County Manager John A. Vithoulkas said. “Students have a chance to ask questions of local leaders and see for themselves how dozens of departments and agencies come together to provide core services to our residents. Student Government Day also gives students a taste of what it’s like to participate in a public meeting, where pressing issues are discussed and debated, and policy decisions are made.”

Student Government Day began Tuesday at Hermitage High School with a ceremony in which 32 students swore the oaths required for their respective positions. All of the students spent Wednesday with their designated departments and agencies. Students also had opportunities to tour Henrico’s Jail West and to register to vote.

For students who worked at the Henrico Government Center on East Parham Road, the day culminated with a student-run, simulated work session and meeting of the Board of Supervisors, which included discussions of the county’s sports tourism initiative, preparations for a nine-day bicycle race to be held throughout the region in September 2015 and proposals to allow outdoor dining at a restaurant and to secure an easement for the Virginia Capital Trail.

The Kiwanis clubs of North Richmond, Tuckahoe and Greater Richmond are sponsors of Student Government Day.

Chief Judge L.A. Harris, Jr. (far right), of the Henrico County Circuit Court, administers the oath of office to high school students representing members of the Board of Supervisors during the 57th annual Student Government Day. Pictured left to right are Ilissa Morris, of Highland Springs High School; Ty Merrill, of Tucker High School; Virang Kumar, of Glen Allen High School; Kaelyn Dickinson, of Henrico High School; and Ahmad Abdeen, of Godwin High School.

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