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Mrs. Quigley's students engaged in a conversation with US Representative Ken Buck

Posted Date: 02/03/2023

Mrs. Quigley's students engaged in a conversation with US Representative Ken Buck

Mrs. Quigley's students engaged in a conversation with US Representative Ken Buck on Tuesday, January 31.

Mrs. Quigley, HS Social Studies teacher, shared "Every senior that I have taught at Haxtun High School has been required to write a letter to their Congressperson, during the Legislative Branch unit of their U.S. Government class. This assignment is meant to engage the students in civic participation, teach them how to write a formal letter, and show them that they can affect legislation even at their age. In this project they must first find a bill that interests them and is actively in the legislative process; therefore, it cannot be a bill that has already been passed or has been lost. They then must conduct thorough research that will aid them in their persuasion of how their Congressperson should vote on said bill. This research generally entails statistical facts that support their opinion, but it can also include the factual information that demonstrates either the benefits or downfalls of the bill’s effects.

In the process of the assignment, I aid in locating bills and provide guidance of research that should be conducted and information that would be beneficial in their argument; however, the letters, themselves, remain to be the voices of the students. When the letters are completed and graded, I mail them off to whichever representative they have written to (this is determined by where the bill is in process).

This year, we had a number of letters go to our District 4 House Representative, Ken Buck. By happen-chance, Representative Buck’s District Director, Monica, walked by the mail on Friday morning to see a stack of, roughly eleven, letters written by Haxtun High School students. She opened one, read it, then another, and another, until all eleven were read. She then found it necessary to contact me to inform me of her gratitude for our project and the work done by the students. She was beyond impressed with the level of research and writing that these students demonstrated. She said that these letters were “well-written, well-researched, and well-informed.” She expressed how we need students to be engaged in these matters, and she was most taken by my encouragement of students to get involved.

It is Monica’s objective to reach out to Representative Buck to recognize our Haxtun students and their jobs well done. Ultimately, she would like for Representative Buck to come visit our high school and talk with each of these students; this, of course, is dependent on his schedule, so it may end up being a zoom call, but a call nonetheless. She is also going to publish our students’ letters and questions in their newsletter with Representative Buck’s responses; meaning, that all of District 4, specifically those in Northeastern Colorado, will see the greatness of our students.

I cannot express how proud I am of these students for their most impressive work! Generally, we receive a letter, maybe two or three, back from our representatives, but this year’s response far-exceeds anything I could have imagined. I am most hopeful that Representative Buck will be able to join us sometime this next semester to conduct a brief Q&A session with our students. I cannot wait to tell the students what an amazing job they have done!!"

Below is one of the letters Haxtun High School students sent to US Representative Ken Buck: