FHSD Youth in Government Students Take Office

Posted on 11/30/2016
Students from FHC and FHHS represent FHSD during Youth in Government conference.

The Youth in Government conference is an opportunity for more than 650 students from around the state of Missouri to learn about civic responsibility, all while participating in the democratic process at the state level. It’s a meeting of the state’s future leaders and decision-makers, and a large number of those students were from the Francis Howell School District (FHSD).

At the conference, students get to step into the roles of government, motioning and passing (or not passing) bills, performing mock trials, vetoing laws, and even acting as the Fourth Estate, using media to tell the stories of the government.

FHSD students made up about 10% of the participants at the three-day conference in the state capitol. The sponsors of the clubs, Margo Hoffmann at Francis Howell Central High School (FHC) and Jennifer Flores at Francis Howell High School (FHHS), know what this conference means not just to the students, but to Missouri. They are the future representatives of our communities, and they take this very seriously. Flores said, “I took 52 students, and I personally felt I learned quite a bit. I am proud of the hard work and dedication that these students put into the preparation for the conference. These young women and men represented our school and community extremely well.”

Students from FHHS and FHC worked as legislators in the House of Representatives and Senate, writing and presenting bills (in advance of the conference), and then made arguments to pass them before their respective committees. The groups then moved on to the floor debate to discuss bills deemed important to Missouri youth. Though very few of the hundreds of bills presented are ultimately signed into law by the youth governor, FHC’s Jenna Schwesig, a sophomore, passed a bill which dealt with the protection of foster children. This bill also received the prestigious “Outstanding Bill” award from the student House. FHC sophomore Mayleigh Davenport also passed a bill in the House that removed corporal punishment from all public schools.

YIP groupMany FHSD students served in coveted leadership positions, including FHC’s Skylr Smith, who was a Committee Chair, only one of twelve. FHHS’s Lainey Hook was also chosen as Committee Chair, serving in the Senate. FHHS’s Grace Trimble acted as the Recording Secretary (did the vote counting) for a day, and Lars Remund acted as the Sergeant at Arms for one day, securing the chambers during voting. Eight FHHS students also prepared for and acted as lawyers for moot courts.

FHSD students also performed well in the awards category. FHC sophomore Myrah Eggert received a Twitter Photo Contest award, and FHHS’s Emma Johnson received the “Most Helpful Award.” Johnson was also chosen as the Editor-in-Chief for next year’s conference. Courtney Templeton, Kyle Hanson, and Gavin Keane (Keane is from Francis Howell Union High School) received the “Best Featured Video Presentation” award.

Two FHC students were given the “Outstanding Statesman” award, Nicole Fourtney and Gabe Prather, the top award bestowed on legislators. And FHC had some alumni return to help guide the next generation of leaders, Paige Hofmeister and Liz Gettemeyer, who served as advisors for the Civic Leadership Institute (which prepares eighth graders for the Youth in Government program).

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