Students shadow city officials for student government day


Enza Taormina

Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken and Chief Advisory Officer James Destino met with students Danielle Denman, Lauren Alves, Kennedy Rounds, Madison Kolterjahn at student government day.

DANIELLE DENMAN, Staff Writer, Editor

Tuesday, May 28th, a group of GHS students shadowed local government officials as a part of Student Government Day, where they were able to learn about many of the obstacles and budgeting tasks that members of City Hall are faced with.

Students shadowed a variety of officials including Fire Chief Eric Smith, Chief Administrative Officer James Destino, and even Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken.

Some students were involved in a morning Manager Meeting, where managers of branches of city works meet and report on the week’s findings. Some topics discussed were the recent Memorial Day gathering, and a new possible first aid kit to stop deep wound bleeding.

 They also discussed teenage vape culture, where students were able to share their perspective on the matter.

Another issue was an upcoming project involving a barrier to be surrounding GHS in the place of the chain link fence bordering the river. This was proposed to combat the sea level rise from the Annisquam river, which has damaged GHS property in the past.

Participants were then shadowed officials in their own offices. Students Lauren Alves, Danielle Denman, Kennedy Rounds, and Madison Kolterjahn joined Romeo Theken and Destino to discuss a variety of topics, including the school and city budget, cannabis shops, climate change and the overall importance of students in government.

Mayor Theken has an open door policy, and encourages all students and citizens to visit her offices with any concerns they have.

“I just want people to understand what our procedures are and what we do here,” said Theken. “I want this city to be everyone’s city.”

Many students who took part in the day felt they had learned valuable information about their local government.

“Student government day was a unique opportunity that I was glad to have participated in,” said junior Gracianna O’toole. “I learned valuable information on the inner workings of our city.”

“It was very interesting to see and meet some of the people who devote their lives to making sure that our city runs safely and smoothly,” said junior Willow Phoenix. “The local officials really care about the wellbeing of all residents and want to make Gloucester the best it can be.”