Student Government Day

posted May 28, 2019, 2:59 PM by Maria Puglisi   [ updated May 28, 2019, 2:59 PM ]

GHS students get an inside look at government

By Ray Lamont Staff Writer

More than two dozen Gloucester High School students are getting a close-up look at the city’s government Tuesday through the resurrection of what is supposed to be an annual project, but had lapsed in recent years.

City and school officials have brought back Gloucester’s Student Government Day, and – as of Saturday – 25 students had signed up to follow Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, Chief Administrative Officer James Destino, city councilors, department heads, School Committee members and others Tuesday as they carry out their duties across the city.

The students will, among other things, be sitting in on management meetings, attending Gloucester District Court proceedings, be in on a Massachusetts School Building Authority building committee meeting, and then attend a pre-council meeting reception with their parents and friends and the regular biweekly City Council meeting slated for 7 p.m. in CIty Hall’s Kyrouz Auditorium.

The reception, which is open to the public, will run from 6:15 to 6:45 p.m., with cookies and cider on the table for refreshments. The students will then open the council meeting by leading the pledge of allegiance and spotlight for councilors and audience members what they learned throughout the day.

Ward 4 Councilor Val Gilman – who served on the organizing committee for the event with fellow councilor Jen Holmgren, City Clerk Joanne Senos,Superintendent of Schools Richard Safier, GHS Principal James Cook and Gloucester High School history teacherRich Francis – said the rejuvenation of Student Government Day is tied, in part, to following a provision in the city’s

charter that calls for it to be presented annually.

But it also focuses on evolving civic education programs in Gloucester’s schools, Gilman noted. Safier added that the Grade 8 program at O’Maley Innovation Middle School, which previously focused on World History, is now a full year of civics, aligned with and culminating with a student trip to Washington, D.C.

Gilman – who also praised Romeo Theken for supporting the project and encouraging city officials to accept thestudents and participate – said she hopes the program will once again be held each year.

“Going forward,” she said, “we hope to make Student Government Day an annual event which will also include a mock city council meeting of GHS students deliberating and voting on an important city issues of interest.”

Ray Lamont can be reached at 978-675-2705, or via email at rlamont@ gloucestertimescom.