Puckett job shadows state representative

Friday, March 9, 2012
On Feb. 22, Nevada R-5 Senior DeeAnna Puckett visited the State Capitol to job shadow State Representative Barney Fisher. Puckett was given a guided tour of the Capitol and Rep. Fisher gave her a tour of the House Chamber and Benton Gallery. She was introduced to the House of Representatives and found time for an official photograph.

Nevada High School senior DeeAnna Puckett, one of more than 50 Missouri FCCLA members, recently got an inside look at a day in the life of a state official through the Legislative Shadowing Project.

Now in its 12th year, the project is conducted by the Missouri Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, the Career and Technical Student Organization for family and consumer sciences education.

The program provides an opportunity for junior and senior high school students to spend a day with their state representative, senator or other public official. The students observe hearings, meetings and other public duties.

Puckett was assigned to local Rep. Barney Fisher, R-125th District. During her day shadowing, Puckett was introduced on the house floor and witnessed sessions, meetings, and the day-to-day functions of the state government.

For many of the students, the event was their first visit to the capital city. Shadowing allowed students to connect their interests in law, public service, civic issues and the political process with their education. By the end of the day, students developed a better understanding of the political process and its impact on citizens.

The program attempts to match students with officials from their local school districts wherever possible. The students prepare for the event by becoming familiar with their official's responsibilities and current issues. If matched with a legislator, the student becomes knowledgeable about the bills introduced and committees on which the legislator serves.

The students and their advisors gathered at the end of the day to debrief and evaluate the day's events. When the students return to school, they prepare summary reports and presentations on their experience to share with their fellow students, school board and community groups.

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