Local Students Participate in Argall’s ‘Senator for a Day’ Program


SCHUYLKILL HAVEN – Senator David G. Argall (R-29) hosted his annual ‘Senator for a Day’ at Penn State Schuylkill, which featured 11 local area high schools and over 60 students, on Thursday.

The event encourages local high school juniors and seniors to participate in a day-long process to see firsthand the difficulties of building a broad consensus with their peers, while debating bills during a simulation of the legislature.

“Our seminar brings the textbooks to life,” said Argall. “The hands-on experience furthers the students’ understanding on how state government works, and doesn’t work.”

After brief remarks in the morning, Argall broke the students into four groups to serve as members of four committees: Education, State Government, Transportation and Appropriations. At their respective committee meetings, students, like the Senate, broke into Majority and Minority Committees, as well as selected ‘Senators’ to sponsor legislation.

Each committee debated and amended two bills, which included downsizing the legislature, school vouchers, privatization of the state-owned liquor stores, tolling on state roads and other current issues in Harrisburg. After passing or defeating bills, the committees adjourned to meet collectively in the Student Community Center’s John E. Morgan Auditorium.

Argall called each committee’s Majority Chair along with the bill sponsor to debate and vote on bills that passed out of committee. After extensive debate, the Senate passed, with amendments, four bills.

Representatives Jerry Knowles (R-124) and Mike Tobash (R-125) visited committees to listen in on the debates and offered advice for the future leaders.

Participating schools included Blue Mountain, Lehighton Area, Mahanoy Area, Marian Catholic, Minersville, Nativity BVM, Panther Valley, Pottsville, Schuylkill Haven, Tamaqua and Tri-Valley.

Contact: Jon Hopcraft
(717) 787-2637
(570) 773-0891

Blue Mountain High School: From left to right: Senator Argall, Megan Bensinger, Allison Ebling, Emily Dabashinsky, Elias Shissler, Jillian Grapsy, Rachel Fay and Mr. Gergely, advisor from Blue Mountain High School.

Mahanoy Area High School: From left to right: Senator Argall, Christina Scheeler, Emily Davidson, Joshua Hanrahan, Jillian Wagner, Gabrielle Irvin and Mr. Tobin, advisor from Mahanoy Area High School.

Minersville Area Junior Senior High School: From left to right: Senator Argall, Brett Polinsky, Connor Kovack, Jaynie Moran, Breanne Bentz, Brenna Horan, James Brophy and Mr. Hilbert, advisor from Minersville Area Junior Senior High School.

Nativity BVM: From left to right: Senator Argall, Sarah Derfler, Kristopher Maurer, Madeline Domalakes and Mr. Labosky, advisor from Nativity BVM.

Panther Valley High School: From left to right: Senator Argall, William Stalgaitis, Brittany Cunfer, Stephanie Kachelries, Deanna Focht, Kevin Dunn, Zackary King and Mr. Damian, advisor from Panther Valley High School.

Pottsville Area High School: From left to right: Senator Argall, Josh Kovich, Allison Cleary, Gwen Fries, Allison Salata, Kaitlin McDonald, Corey Conville and Mr. Merrick, advisor from Pottsville Area High School.

Schuylkill Haven High School: From left to right: Senator Argall, Tyler Bartol, Maddelyn Huffman, Brittany Howley, Amanda Tokarick, Abby Woleschok, Brett Moore and Sharlene Nemits, advisor from Schuylkill Haven High School.

Tamaqua Area High School: From left to right: Senator Argall, Alison Miller, Hannah Miller, Sarah Klein, Lauren Christ, Brittany Sheidy, Dallas Mease, and Mr. Opolsky, advisor from Tamaqua Area High School.

Tri-Valley High School: From left to right: Senator Argall, Trevor Heisler, Sam Wetzel, Kayla Tiley, Jessi Dean, Jon Snyder, Levi Rissinger and Mr. Risso, advisor from Tri-Valley High School.

Marian Catholic High School: From left to right: Senator Argall, Anthony Pilla, Emily Burger, Tim Miller and Mr. Forgotch, advisor from Marian Catholic High School.

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