ChHS senior learns about government during special session

Published 3:33 pm Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer

CHELSEA – Chelsea High School senior Claire King recently had the privilege and honor of being chosen to serve as a page for Sen. Dan Roberts, during a recent special session.

King spent a week learning how the government works and met several members of Alabama’s government during her week as page during the special session on the week of July 17. A special session that became necessary when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Alabama’s voting maps to be discriminatory.

“It was really interesting to me to see all that take place and the process behind that and all the work that goes into it,” King said. “They would have committee meetings, session—all of the things. So, it was really interesting to see the process behind everything.”

King shared how she got the position as Roberts’s page.

“I got in touch with my area’s legislators in Pelham (and) with the director of their office, Mimi Penhale,” King said. “I got in touch with her about any opportunities to expand my interest in government and she got me in touch with the page program at the Alabama State House and they coordinated all of that.”

As a page, King performed a number of services during her time in Montgomery.

“Each day I would travel up, and the senate would go into session at different times, so I would shadow during the sessions as well as sit in on any kind of committee meetings or discussion of that sort,” she said. “I would also lead the pledge.”

While there, King was able to meet Sen. April Weaver, Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth and Gov. Kay Ivey.

Going into the role, King was prepared, having done her own research as well as having recently represented Chelsea at Girls State in June.

“Each school in Alabama will pick one to two girls to represent the rising senior class and we all have to come together,” King said. “We’re put into groups and basically we form a mock government in a way. You can run for city positions, county positions and state positions and we do mock legislation—which was my personal favorite part—and learn a lot about government legislation.”

King has always been fascinated by politics and plans to pursue a future career in law.

“I’m a very opinionated person,” she said. “Politics have always been very interesting to me. Getting ready for college, as of right now, I plan to major in political science and government and then go on to the pre-law track.”

King expressed her gratitude for her experiences at the Alabama State House.

“Overall, it was a really nice experience and I’m really thankful that I had the opportunity and the privilege to be a part of that,” she said. “It was very, very interesting to see and, obviously, being that it was a special session, it’s a little different than a special session, whereas, this one had a time limit. It’s very interesting to see everything that went with that. I really am very thankful that I had that opportunity and got to meet the people that I did and be a part of that.”