Government Day

Civics students learn from government staff

By Ryan Cornell

WOODSTOCK — Eighth graders at Peter Muhlenberg Middle School met with local government officials, law enforcement and School Board members at the school’s Government Day on Thursday.

Woodstock Police Chief Eric Reiley, Strasburg Mayor Tim Taylor, Shenandoah County Registrar Lisa McDonald, Treasurer Cindy George, former supervisor Dennis Morris, Woodstock Assistant Town Planner Angela Clem, school resource officer Victor Green, Assistant Superintendent Evelyn Linaburg and School Board members Karen Whetzel and Katie Freakley attended the annual event.

The guest speakers talked to students in the civics and economics class, taught by Jen Jones and Ed Boyden, about their duties and how they fit into the local government.

“Years before, if I were to ask them who a member of the Board of Supervisors was, they wouldn’t be able to tell me,” Jones said.

“It’s a fun way to learn civics that isn’t typical; they actually remember these people.”

Government Day is the beginning of a three-week project for students. The students will use their newly acquired knowledge of the local government system to create a 3D model of their own towns.

Boyden said students not only have to figure out where to place government buildings including the jail, school and police station, but are also tasked to create the town’s constitution and history.

He said a new addition this year is that students learn about a problem the area is facing, such as water treatment practices or drug use, and come up with a solution in their model.

Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rcornell@nvdaily.com