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Senator King Meets with Wells High School students

posted Dec 8, 2017, 3:49 AM by Michael Richards
About two dozen Wells High School students had the opportunity to video conference in class for about 50 minutes with Maine’s Independent U.S. Senator Angus King on December 5th.   His appearance on Skype was part of the Capital Class project King began shortly after taking office in 2013 to connect and interact with students at one high school monthly, sometimes weekly, eventually reaching every high school in Maine.   

Shortly after 9:15 a.m., King appeared before students on a large screen situated at the front of Ann Bechan’s classroom.  The Senator indicated that he was speaking to them from a room with broadcasting capabilities in the Senate office building in Washington, D.C.   

King described his role as senator in writing legislation which involves homework, hearings, bill markup sessions, meetings with staff and various experts plus time spent back in Maine on weekends meeting with constituents, touring the state and family time on Sundays in Brunswick.  He then accepted student questions which related to a variety of topics including Medicaid, training for jobs of the future, rising tensions between North Korea and the U.S., reasons why he choose to be an Independent and even a question about his favorite food.  King was Independent Governor of Maine from 1994 to 2002.

One of the questions came from Junior Kiah Holdsworth who sought King’s views on Israel including the idea of moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Avi to Jerusalem.  “The entire experience was enlightening,” said Holdsworth afterwards. “It was great to hear from the senator.  I am sure all my classmates were really excited to talk to an actual senator because very few people actually get the chance to do that.” 

“Well listen,” King said before signing off and heading back to work. “You had great questions. I’m glad to have a chance to meet you.  I hope, if you see me around in Maine, you’ll come up and introduce yourself and say ‘I was one of those Wells Warriors that spoke to you that morning.’”  

WHS Principal Sheehy later commented, “It was a great opportunity for our students to have the occasion to explore and discuss ideas related to government in an authentic way. They had some excellent questions and Senator King was open to whatever they had on their mind. We are appreciative of the time he spent with our students.”

King’s appearance was arranged by Regional Representative Bonita Pothier who is based in King’s Scarborough office.   “This morning’s session was excellent,” said Pothier.  “(Senator King) has said over and over again that the (student) questions, from his perspective, are even stronger and better than he can anticipate.”  Pothier and 14 other in-state King staff members are responsible for assisting Maine people individually with problems or issues with the federal government.  “People like Bonnie (Pothier) are my eyes and ears in the community,” said King at one point to the WHS students.  

English and Social Studies teacher Ann Bechan, Technology Coordinator Michael Richards and WHS Principal Eileen Sheehy also helped make this event possible.

Students participating in King interview
Senator Angus King meeting with a group of WHS students on December 5, 2017