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High Schoolers Gain Insider’s View of State Government


State Sen. Gene Yaw
State Sen. Gene Yaw
J. Andrew Crompton prowls the Field House, in search of answers
J. Andrew Crompton prowls the Field House, in search of answers
A visiting student attracts some good-natured heckling
A visiting student attracts some good-natured heckling
Assigned to act as governor, legislators, lobbyists and the media, students debate legislation
Assigned to act as governor, legislators, lobbyists and the media, students debate legislation
Paul L. Starkey, vice president for academic affairs/provost, welcomes Penn College guests
Paul L. Starkey, vice president for academic affairs/provost, welcomes Penn College guests

More than 200 high school students from across Pennsylvania’s five-county 23rd Senatorial District converged on Penn College’s main campus Thursday for Sen. Gene Yaw’s annual primer on “How Government Works.” The daylong Student Government Seminar – initiated nearly three decades ago by then-Sen. Roger A. Madigan – affords high schoolers an insider’s perspective on the state Legislature, thanks to candid participation by political and community leaders. Before breaking into smaller sessions to discuss and debate issues as diverse as school choice and legalizing marijuana, the students were treated to a high-energy, interactive presentation by J. Andrew “Drew” Crompton, chief of staff/counsel for Pennsylvania Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati. Combining multiple-choice questions (with cookies to reward favored respondents), role-playing, impromptu audience participation and blazing-fast wit, Crompton facilitated an abbreviated understanding of the “push and pull” of the legislative process. Among the day’s other highlights, two future Penn College students in attendance were chosen for Peggy Madigan Memorial Leadership Scholarships.

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