QACHS senior Brad Embert served as student page
ANNAPOLIS — Since 1970, Maryland’s high school seniors have had the opportunity to learn about the legislative process by serving as student pages in the Senate and the House of Delegates during the annual session of the Maryland General Assembly. Each year, 105 pages and 36 alternates are selected from across the State to represent their schools and counties in Annapolis.
This year Brad Embert, a freshly graduated senior from Queen Anne’s County High School, served as the student page from Queen Anne’s County in the House of Delegates. His parents are Kelly and Dwayne Embert of Marydel.
Tina Thomas, supervisor of Instruction, CTE and Social Studies, is page coordinator for Queen Anne’s County.
Embert described his experience, “It was very eye opening; no matter how much you read about the government in textbooks, you don’t really understand it until you see it first-hand. We were very busy, especially the second week — we had the opportunity to stay for sine die, the end of the session. It was pretty cool staying there until midnight, then watching all the bills being thrown into the air. It was heartwarming to see our delegates working hard, really pursuing what we voted them in there to do.”
The biggest surprise, said Embert, was getting to eat in the governor’s mansion. “The governor invited all of us and the delegates to his house for a four-course dinner there.”
He said he applied for the program because “I’ve always been interested in government and wanted to take this opportunity to see it in action.”
Is Maryland government in his future? “Maybe eventually,” said Embert. “Probably not for a little while, we’ll see how things play out.”
Each county is allocated at least one page and one alternate position and receives additional positions based on its high school senior student population. Interested students apply through their schools in September of their senior year, and selection is completed by Oct. 31 of each year. All applicants must: • Reside in the state of Maryland and attend a Maryland high school. (One “at-large” page position is available for students who reside in Maryland but attend schools outside the state or who receive their schooling at home. These students must apply directly to the MGA Page Coordinator no later than Oct. 15 of each year.);
• Be a high school senior and at least 16 years of age;
• Have or obtain a Social Security number;
• Exhibit an interest in government and history;
• Have a record of good conduct;
• Be competent, courteous, reliable and efficient;
• Have an average or above average scholastic record;
• Wear appropriate dress and exhibit good personal grooming; and
• Be outgoing and like to meet people.
Each selected page serves two nonconsecutive weeks in either the House of Delegates or the Senate. During the 13 weeks of session, which runs from the second week in January to early April, each page serves one week during the first eight weeks and returns for a second week during the last five. The duties of the page revolve around the schedule of the chamber to which the page is assigned. Whenever their assigned chamber is in session, pages must be present.
Duties include keeping the members’ bill books up to date, distributing materials on the floor to the members, running errands, answering the phone, assisting visitors and delivering messages to the members. Pages do not work in delegates’ or senators’ offices. This work is done by staff members and college interns.
Gov. Larry Hogan and Brad Embert, a recent graduate from Queen Anne’s County High School. Embert served as the student page from Queen Anne’s County in the House of Delegates during the 2016 Maryland General Assembly session.