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On April 25, Linn County hosted 26 area high school students for Future Leaders of Linn County. This one-day event during National County Government Month engaged high school students in the government process by providing a hands-on, comprehensive learning experience that culminated with six students serving on a mock Board of Supervisors.
Students began their day by meeting Linn County elected officials and department heads and touring the Linn County Public Service Center. They attended the Linn County Board of Supervisors formal meeting and then participated in interactive breakout sessions with county staff.
During the interactive sessions, the students were briefed on simulated county business and were presented with challenges and decisions to make in preparation for the mock Board of Supervisors meeting where six students served as members of the mock board. The simulated challenges were developed to engage the students in critical thinking and to demonstrate the wide-ranging issues and difficult decisions involving county government and the impact those policy decisions have on residents and the community.
The mock scenarios included whether to abate property taxes on flood-damaged homes and businesses and the impact the decision would have on property owners and government services for residents. Another scenario addressed zoning rules for property in unincorporated Linn County and ways to bring properties into compliance.
Nathaniel Burke, a Washington High School student said of the experience: “I appreciated being able to experience the daily happenings in the work of a supervisor. It was hard not having a ‘right’ answer.”
Elizabeth Buchheim, a student from Jefferson who served on the mock board, said she found the day “very informative and inclusive. I was not familiar with the structure of Linn County but now I am!”
Juliet Bwalya, also a student from Jefferson who served on the mock board, said what she enjoyed most about the day was “the overall experience, from the informal to the formal board meeting – with the highlight of the day being the mock board meeting.”
See a photo gallery from the day’s events on our website.
Watch the mock Board of Supervisors video of the students serving as mock members of the board.
About National County Government Month
National County Government Month, held each April, is an annual celebration of county government. It is an opportunity to raise public awareness about county services, programs and responsibilities. National County Government Month is sponsored by the National Association of Counties (NACo). Learn more at www.naco.org.