Two Stoughton High students recently got to experience a day in the life of an elected state official in Massachusetts.
Dozens of high school students from across the Commonwealth took part in the 65th Annual Student Government Day, held at the Massachusetts State House in Boston, on Friday April 13, including Will McGrath and Mackenzie Hudson from Stoughton High.
The students had a hands-on lesson about the role of state government, hearing from a number of elected officials, including Governor Deval Patrick, and actually getting to represent various elected or appointed positions in the legislative, executive and judicial branches of the Massachusetts government.
McGrath, a junior at SHS, was the Attorney General for the day. Hudson, a senior at SHS, was the alternate Attorney General. Both students met the state’s full-time AG, Martha Coakley.
McGrath and Hudson were elected by their peers to represent Stoughton High at this event. Stoughton High faculty nominated ten students back in the fall and the student body then selected McGrath and Hudson for the honor.
While there, the group of students debated two bills in a mock hearing—whether on not truants should be able to get licenses and if community service should be a requirement for high school graduation.
McGrath and Hudson said they enjoyed interacting with students from across the state. They also said they enjoyed getting an up-close view of the historic State House.
Hudson said she enjoyed hearing from Treasurer Steve Grossman, who told students about a website they could visit that detailed what the state government is spending in an effort to “be as open as possible.”
"It gives you an appreciation for what the government does and gives you insight for what actually happens,” McGrath said of the experience.
While both enjoyed their day at the State House, Attorney General Coakley doesn’t need to worry about McGrath or Hudson running against her anytime soon. Both said they didn’t have aspirations to hold political office.
Still, a Student Government Day is an event each would like to experience again.
“I think they should do it more often…[give] more opportunities for more kids,” Hudson said.
“It was a great opportunity [and] just a great day,” McGrath said.