Before Representative Murphy was Representative
Murphy, she was Mrs. Murphy—a teacher. When Representative Murphy was elected in
1976 to the Minnesota House of Representatives, she was a social studies teacher
at Duluth Central High School. As an educator, she encouraged her students
to participate in the Minnesota House High School Page Program—a weeklong,
state government immersion program
at the Capitol in St. Paul. Rep. Mary Murphy says, “I have been a supporter of the page program since, um, I think it began, in the sense that I was a teacher
and I used to encourage the kids to
apply when they were juniors, or if I had them as sophomores, I’d say, ‘now, now
when you are juniors you can apply’.” Today, Minnesota students often find
out about the page program the same way. “I actually got recommended by my
advanced placement US History teacher. He actually just gave a class announcement, he said anybody is open to apply.” “I found out about this program from my AP
US History teacher. He told our entire class about it.” Other times, students hear about the program over the intercom during school announcements. However you learn about the program, in order to be part of it, you need to apply.
In this Guide to the Minnesota House High School Page Program, we walk you
through the application process. “The students apply to the program by sending in an application which includes
their hometown address.” Chief Sergeant-at-Arms Travis Reese says the first step to becoming a page is to fill out the application form. “To get an application form, students can go to the House Page Program website at this address (show address—http://www.house.mn/edprog/introletter.asp)
or, they can ask their social studies teacher for a form.
The form requires a Parent/Guardian signature and the signature of the student’s civics/social
studies teacher confirming the student is a high school junior—a necessary
requirement of the program. In addition, students must submit a short
essay describing their interest in, and reasons for applying to the House High
School Page Program. “Usually we ask them about
500 words or so.” Students may also submit a letter of recommendation from a teacher, though that is not required. The application, essay, and optional recommendation letter may be emailed or mailed. Page organizers select participants and alternates
based off of the strength of their essays and their availability.
“A lot of it has do with what weeks they say they are available on the application they are allowed to choose weeks that they think they are going to be
available during session.” Reese says the only way their schedule choices
would impact their selection is if they only picked one week of availability.
He says their essay is the biggest decision maker in a student being chosen for the program.
Here’s a look at the upcoming program dates: The application process is a competitive one, but Rep. Murphy says the education experience is well worth a student’s time
and effort to apply. “I’ve never meet a kid that didn’t think it was a worthwhile experience ” And I’ve never met a high school page, five years later that hasn’t said that truly was a turning point in their lives.” And although Representative Murphy is no longer a teacher, her support for the program remains
unwavering. Students considering applying should keep
in mind that pages are selected in the fall of each year.