QACHS se­nior Brad Em­bert served as stu­dent page

Record Observer - - News -

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.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

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.

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