Pillager Area Charter School students experience day at the Capitol
Three students from Pillager Area Charter School participated in Minnesota Association of Alternative Programs STARS Legislative Day Feb. 19 at the Minnesota State Capitol.
On this day, alternative programs from around the state gather at the Capitol to represent alternative education and to learn firsthand about how state government operates.
Marshall Kuhn, Levy Ktytor and Kitra Barros toured the Capitol, met with the state teacher licensure board and sat down with their representatives. During their tour, they saw the Senate and House Chambers. As they walked through the tunnels that connect the House, the Senate, and the Capitol, they noticed what a busy place it was. They asked passing firefighters what they were doing there and learned the firefighters planned to meet with representatives to discuss the needs and concerns of fire safety workers, just like the students were there to discuss the needs and concerns of alternative education programs.
The students also sat in on a meeting with two members of the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board, which is the group that makes determinations on teaching licensure. This meeting gave students an opportunity to express their opinions on what makes a great teacher. It was clear from this conversation that students appreciate teachers skilled in relationship building, project-based approaches and community outreach.
Students were also responsible for helping to set up meetings with their state representatives. They met with Rep. John Poston and Sen. Paul Gazelka. During these meetings, students talked specifically about Pillager Area Charter SChool and why it is a great option for them. The students were impressed by how well both legislators listened and expressed interest in their stories.
“I really liked meeting with them, because it gave us a chance for our voices to be heard. I think we represented our school greatly, and I would definitely go again. I think that our school changed the way they thought about alternative education,” Levi Ktytor said of meeting with the legislators.