NHS' Annual Government Day
On March 21, 2019, Nutley High School students took a trip all over town to follow the footsteps of important town leaders for Government Day. The students visited significant sites and met important people who contribute to the town in multiple ways. Through this experience, they understood what it’s like to keep Nutley running and how much responsibility it takes to have such an important job.
Government Day allowed student officers to walk in the shoes of municipal leaders and workers in Nutley. Students visited the offices and important buildings throughout the town. Each student was assigned a certain department of government to learn about, whether it be Parks and Recreation or Public Works. The officials of these departments then explained to these students the job they do and why that job is important to the town. The experience allowed students to appreciate the people that keep Nutley up and running. By the end of the day, the students are expected to answer a series of questions regarding the purpose of Government Day and what they learned.
Each year, Ms. Brady, NHS English teacher, and Mrs. Alberti, main office secretary, work together to ensure that everything is running smoothly throughout the day. They collaborate with Lisa Zitola-McGuire, the special events coordinator for the department of public works, to plan the events and lead students during their trip. According to Ms. Brady, “the purpose of Government Day is to help the students understand how the Commissioners and employees of our town serve the citizens to allow Student Council officers and members to better serve the student body.”
Ms. Brady played a vital role in the activity, giving students the opportunity to participate in the first place. She distributed permission slips and allowed the students to choose who they wanted to shadow.
Freshman Ashley Apollo Ugalde was one of the students on this trip. She was assigned to the Public Works Department where she learned about how workers keep the town clean, keep the roads safe, and ensure water and sewer service. “It is important because it helps us look into the work it takes to keep Nutley running”, Ashley said. She enjoyed the experience thoroughly and would not change a single thing about it.
NHS senior Natalia Acevedo also attended the Government Day trip. She followed Frank DeMaio through the Department of Parks and Recreation to learn about the activities they host and the way they maintain and create parks. She felt as though it was a very important experience for people to understand how important public work is and the great service workers do to keep Nutley’s parks and fields clean and ready to use. When asked what she learned from the experience, Natalia said, “It really showed me how hard they work. They don’t get the most funding, but they do some of the most important jobs.”
Government Day is a very valuable and enjoyable experience for all students. “The things we take for granted are the things that government workers work hard to accomplish,” says Natalia. This is just another example of the many lessons that students learned during Government Day.