By David Huss
Three Sterling High School Government students and their sponsor, David Huss, went to Denver to take part in the Colorado Close-Up Program, from March 5-7.
When the group arrived on Sunday, they participated in a welcome session with many other students from around the state. After settling in, the students were led through an activity to determine what their own political position was and to pick a political party. After, they discussed hot issues that are currently in front of the State Legislature. Later that afternoon the student walked to NEW4 and toured the studio and visited with Tom Mustain and Kathy Walsh about the role of the media in politics. In the evening the Colorado Close Up congregation attended the theatre Chicken Lips, where comedians used their talents to teach leadership skills while involving the students in skits, much like Drew Carey’s “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”
On Monday the group went to the judicial complex where the Colorado State Supreme Court sits and had two lawyers argue a case to a panel of student judges. Senior Kylee Harless was one of these judges. The student judges were then taken into the judges chambers to make a decision on the case. The students also observed the House and the Senate in action and toured the State Capitol Building. Later that morning the students visited with a Professional Lobbyist and heard from the Lt. Governor Donna Lynne. After lunch the students were able to tour the U.S. Mint and observe house and senate committee meetings. In the evening the students had a question and answer session with House Majority Leader KC Becker before listening to an emotion filled presentation by Ethan Fischer titled “Life’s Consequences”.
Tuesday morning the group had breakfast at the Brown Palace with Senator Jerry Sonnenberg and Representative John Becker. After breakfast, the students went to the Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse and were privileged enough to sit in on the actual courts. This portion of learning about the Judicial Branch is always very eye opening! Later that afternoon, the group packed their bags and headed back to Sterling.
“I believe that this experience has provided a deeper understanding of how our democracy operates, every high schooler should take advantage of this opportunity to learn about our government” stated Taylor Huss. Logan Kiefer thinks he will “ be more involved in politics after attending the Colorado Close Up Program”.
The Sterling High School Government students would like to thank their sponsors: The Sterling Rotary, The Bank of Colorado, Equitable Savings and Loan, Premier Farm Credit, The Sonnenberg Agency, Eric Van Wyk-American Family Insurance, Doug Hale-State Farm Insurance and Walker Pharmacy! Thanks so much for supporting our students!