Seven McHenry County High Schools Sent Students to “Model Congress” in Rockford Saturday

The following seven McHenry County high school students will participated in a “Model Congress” next Saturday in Rockford:

  • Alden-Hebron H.S.: Leah Arthur, Cody Eskridge, Dillion Lalor and Morgan Lohse.
  • Cary-Grove H.S.: Maurissa Dorn, Luke Jenner, Jon Lubow and Alix Rozolis.
  • Crystal Lake Central H.S.: Juan Gonzalez.
  • Harry D. Jacobs H.S.: Grant Dixon.
  • Marengo H.S.: Amanda Kenny, Paulette Saldana, Jacob Tucker and Tyler VanVoorhees.
  • Marian Central Catholic H.S.: Sylvia Bennett, John Jaworski, Heather Ross and Jan Wueger.
  • Woodstock H.S.: Ana Ahmeh, Chris Banville, Katelyn Frisby and Jon Larson.

And presiding was former House Speaker Dennis Hastert preside.

Was that be an experience or what?

When I was trying to select a college, I was already enamored by the political process. On the Crystal Lake Community High School student council, I guess I wanted to be more involved in the decision-making process than being asked to ratify Superintendent John Buckner’s decision to move the smoking corner from right outside the back door of the school next to the field house to the parking lot. (I voted against that, arguing that if the administration wanted to move the smoking corner, fine, but I wasn’t going to be a front—not the word I used–for the action.)

In any event I looked for colleges with mock political conventions. I ended up applying for Northwestern, Oberlin College and Lawrence. Oberlin was ranked highest on a Tribune listing for co-educational colleges from 2,000-3,000 and had held the first mock convention, so, when I was accepted I decided to go there. I ended up  chairman of the Republican Mock Convention.

I also participated in a Model United Nations at the instigation of Steve Hutzelman. My friend Paul Keefe, who, ironically, was buried in Crystal Lake because of a family connection after he died jogging in New York’s Central Park shortly after our 5th college reunion, although he lived west of Cleveland and I were the back-up guys. (Keefe is second from the right on the top row next to Melinda Kunz. I’m bottom right.) We learned that two people can get a whole audience applauding by clapping at the back of both sides of the audience.

This is the eleventh year that the 16th District Congressman has sponsored this event.

“I’m always amazed at their passion for public policy and their thirst for knowledge, and I’m very much looking forward to our visit,” 16th District Congressman Don Manzullo said.

His press release points out,

“The ‘Model Congress’ simulation, which provides students with hands-on experience in how an idea becomes a law, is a core feature of the organization’s Washington, D.C.-based conferences, but this is the first time CYLC has conducted it as a stand-alone program. Seventeen CYLC staff members will be on site in Rockford to administer the program.”

143 students are attending from 37 high schools.

During the morning session, students were assigned a political party and committees, where debate ensued on a fictional bill. Students debated, amended and voted on the bill in committee and then come together as the full Model Congress in the afternoon for further debate, take action on amendments, and a final vote on the bill.

For the life of me, I cannot understand why every high school in McHenry County (or at least in Manzullo’s part of McHenry County) isn’t sending a student.

The entire press release is here.

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