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Magnolia ISD Student Leadership Visits with Leaders at the State Capitol

Chief of Staff Jessica Magee from State Representative Cecil Bell, Jr. led a panel discussion about the day-to-day responsibilities and working with all the stake holders related to potential legislation. She discussed how each of the legislative offices is managed differently, almost like small businesses serving their constituents. Each day is different; staff could be researching an issue, writing legislation, reaching out to constituents like ISDs, or returning phone calls from their district.

Adrianne Evans, legislative director from Senator Brandon Creighton’s office, and Brady Franks, senior budget and policy advisor for the Texas House of Representatives encouraged the students to look for opportunities where they can work with their local government. The panel members talked with the Magnolia ISD students about numerous career opportunities at the state, county and local levels as well as the importance of internships when exploring college and careers. Brady stated to the group, “Internships are great way to determine what it is you want to do, determine your education pathway and advance your career.”

Students asked questions regarding specific policies impacting the state and community, and how they are preparing for the 2017 session. Jessica explained the development of designing legislation for the next session. The number of bills introduced this last legislative session was approximately 6,000 with only 1,300 getting passed. She explained our Constitution is designed to “kill bills.”

State Representative Cecil Bell, Jr. met with the students and shared his story about how he got involved in government and his obligation to serve his constituents. Through his story and wisdom of owning several businesses, he explained to the students, “Some people try to say leadership is not age specific. You guys are demonstrating that right now. You can show leadership at any age. You are learning about the legislative process and how it works ensures future generations have benefit and access to our form of government.”

He applauded the group for their willingness to commit the effort necessary to make sure they are successful. He continued, “You are a select group within a much larger community. You are already demonstrating leadership as it is something within you. It is an honor to meet with each of you and to see your willingness to commit the effort necessary to be successful.”

To conclude the day long trip, State Representative Bell, Jr. gave the students a personal tour of the House of Representatives floor answering additional questions and taking time for photo opportunities with the students.

This is the fourth year Superintendent Dr. Todd Stephens has led this program designed for junior level students to learn about government leadership and how to be civic leaders of their community. 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.