In an age when many young people are not actively engaged in government or politics, Katie Duval will represent the Greater Huntington area at this year’s Students Inside Albany conference sponsored by the League of Women Voters of New York State. The Huntington High School sophomore was selected to participate based on the strength of her application, essay and sterling personal references.
The League of Woman Voters’ website states the conference is an “intensive” experience “designed to immerse students in the process by which public policy is proposed, enacted and changed in New York State and educate them as to how they can influence and affect this process.”
“Katie Duval is an amazing student,” said Camille Tedeschi, a Huntington social studies teacher. “She is creative, charismatic, intelligent, mature and unique. I taught her last year in ninth grade honors world history and am currently her Advanced Placement World History teacher. She is well-liked by all of her peers and teachers. She loves current events, being active and aware of what happens in our country and the world as well as politics.”
The conference will run from April 14-17 in the state capital. Joseph Leavy, the Huntington School District’s chair of humanities, said all expenses (travel, lodging, conference and food) are covered for Ms. Duval by the LWV. “Her family is very excited and supportive of her going,” Mr. Leavy said.
Ms. Duval is a fan of You Tube history videos and she has built a large base of knowledge. “She offers her classmates someone to look up to,” Ms. Tedeschi said. “She is brilliant on many levels and works very hard. She is a talented writer and typically has the best essays in her class. She loves history! She wants to be a teacher. On occasion she will ‘play’ teacher in our class and she mesmerizes the students with her knowledge and how she explains material to them.”
Participants in spring conference will meet with “Albany insiders” and discuss the state government operations “including how policy is shaped and enacted. Students develop knowledge of the disparate forces that influence policy development. Additionally, students are afforded the opportunity to observe Assembly and Senate sessions and to shadow both their Assembly members and Senators,” according to the LWV website.
“The follow up to this experience will greatly enhance our work in the social studies department and community inlocal issue deliberation and solution, as Katie will be involved with Hofstra’sCenter for Civic Engagement, and possibly the Kettering Foundation through hernext few years here at Huntington High School,” Mr. Leavy said. “She is verypolitically aware and this experience will certainly bring prestige to her, herfamily and our community. Hofstra has already requested she add to their blog on deliberative democracy.”