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John Schickel: Kentucky Senate Page Programs is an exciting opportunity for high school students

There are many time-honored traditions in the Senate, but one of my favorites is the Senate Page Program. Through the program, high school juniors and seniors in top academic standing are invited to apply for a position as a page for the Senate chamber. I want to encourage students in my district, which includes northern and central Boone County, to consider applying as a daily page or Sunny Page in the current 2023 session or full-time page for the 2024 Legislative Session.

Daily Page Program

The program is an extension of the full-time Senate Page Program. This is for students between 12 and 18 who are either too young or can’t commit to being a full-time page. Pages generally have a Senate sponsor, typically the Senator elected to their home district, but they perform a valuable service for all Senators and staff by delivering messages, running errands, copying material and delivering bills– to name a few. During a typical day, there is a pool of Pages available.

Senator John Schickel and guest in the Kentucky Senate Chamber during the 2022 Legislative Session. March 29, 2022. (Photo by Bruce Phillips, Legislative Research Commission.)

I encourage you to reach out to my office if you know a student between the age of 12 and 18 who would like to participate in the Daily Page Program during part II of the 2023 Legislative Session, which reconvenes on Tuesday, February 7. I would love to have them join me in Frankfort, experience the legislative process and be recognized in the Senate Chamber. You can connect with my office at 502-564-8100 or by email at John.Schickel@lrc.ky.gov.

Sunny Page Program

This is a special program for children with disabilities, also allowing them to participate in the legislative process while serving as Senate Pages. Sunny Pages will be introduced on the Senate floor with their sponsor, carry out duties as they can, and receive a Sunny Page t-shirt and certificate of appreciation at the end of the day. My colleague Senator Danny Carroll started this program along with former Senator Dennis Parrett not only to include children with disabilities in this tradition but to bring awareness to some of the issues affecting those with special needs.

To become a daily page or sunny page if you are not in my district, please get in touch with your respective Senator’s office or the Senate Clerk at the phone number and email previously provided to arrange for a Senate sponsor. To streamline the process, please fill out the online applications for daily or sunny pages and submit them to your Senator’s office or the Senate clerk via email.

Online Application to be a Senate Daily Page or Sunny Page.

2024 Full-Time Page Program

Being a full-time page in the General Assembly gives students interested in a career in politics or public service within government an opportunity to witness first-hand how our state legislature operates. Senate pages sit at the front of the chamber for general assignments and aid the Senate clerk’s office. They respond to requests from Senators and staff within the chamber and sometimes assist with handling Senate materials and supplies. Pages report to the Senate Page Mother’s Office, which ultimately answers to the Chief Clerk of the Senate, Donna Robinson Holiday.

If selected, a Senate page will serve for the calendar year in regular and extraordinary sessions. The 2024 Legislative Session will be a 60-day session. The Kentucky General Assembly will convene at noon on January 2 and will be in session until mid-April.

If interested in becoming a full-time page of the Senate in next year’s session, contact the Chief Clerk of the Senate at 502-564-5320 or email donna.holiday@lrc.ky.gov. You will then be asked to submit a cover letter stating why you would like to be a Senate Page, along with a résumé. Please include all contact information. The clerk may then contact you at a later date for a job interview. The clerk will also contact all area schools to ensure that the applicant is of high academic standing and eligible to serve as a page for the year.

Full-time pages and daily pages do not have the same duties and will go through training with their respective supervisors. They will be taught where to be stationed during the session, how to carry out their various tasks, and instructed on proper decorum within the Senate chamber. Each daily page will be given a certificate of appreciation at the end of the day’s work by their Senate sponsor.

Serving as a Senate Page brings many benefits. Working in a professional environment gives the student confidence and boosts self-esteem. Pages learn to accept a significant degree of personal responsibility for their work, as the experience helps prepare them for the future demands of their academic and professional careers.

In addition to developing meaningful friendships with others in the program, pages gain a sense of belonging as they meet and relate to those with similar potential career interests. They also get to work and build relationships with many people around the state. Full-time Senate pages are paid at a rate of $60 per day, which helps them begin learning how to make decisions on managing their finances, transportation, work demands, housing, and new friendships.

I certainly hope to see bright young students from the 11th Senate District participate, and for those who do, I look forward to meeting you.

Senator John Schickel, R-Union, represents the 11th District in northern and central Boone County. He is Senate Licensing and Occupations Committee chair. He also serves as a Senate Banking and Insurance, Judiciary, and Natural Resources and Energy committee member.

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