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Magnolia student leadership visits state Capitol

February 10, 2017 GMT

Superintendent Dr. Todd Stephens’ vision of a student leadership program focused on government and civic leadership continues to grow and prepare future leaders.

Last week, the student leadership cohort from Magnolia and Magnolia West High Schools traveled to Austin to meet with local elected officials and to get an in-depth look at the operation of our state government. The 32 students along with school board members Kristi Baker and Joe Duncan, as well as Stephens, spent a full day at the state Capitol meeting with state representatives and legislative staff members.

The day started with a resolution on the House floor from state Rep. Cecil Bell Jr., R-Magnolia. He recognized on the dais Baker, Duncan and Stephens for their commitment to serving the Magnolia ISD community and developing our youth and acknowledged the students sitting in the gallery.

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Bell met with the students and shared his story about how he got involved in government and his commitment to serve his constituents. Through his personal story and being an owner of multiple businesses, he explained to the students that leadership is not age specific. He told the students that being a part of the leadership program already demonstrates leadership.

He commended the students for their commitment to be successful, responsible civic leaders and learn about the legislative process to ensure future generations have access to our form of government. Bell gave students a personal tour of the House of Representatives floor answering additional questions and taking time for photo opportunities with the students.

The students concluded the day with a panel discussion with the chief of staff members from the offices of Bell, state Rep. Will Metcalf, R-Conroe, and state Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe. The staff members shared their work responsibilities for each side of the House and Senate; working on campaigns and policies; and meeting with stakeholders for each of their districts.

Ariane Marion, chief of staff for Bell, discussed what her role is while the elected officials are out of session.

“The speaker of the House will task us with long-term projects and interim charges. We are tasked with researching and developing a report based on whatever the relevant topic will be for the next session along with serving our constituents,” Marion said.

Senior analyst Chase Fruge for Creighton shared his experience working in Washington, D.C., compared to working at the state level. Each of the panelist shared their educational background and emphasized the importance of internship and getting experience while in college.

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This is the fifth year Stephens has led this program designed for junior-level students to learn about government leadership and how to be civic leaders of their community. This year, the program has expanded to include a capstone service project for this year’s senior cohort.

Magnolia ISD Student Leadership program mission is to develop young leaders in the community to be well-informed and active citizens involved in serving the community in which they live.