Monday, April 7, 2014

Washington Seminar

Please join me in welcoming home the 42nd annual Washington Seminar scholars. They were back in their classes Monday after a week in D.C. researching their federal government topics.

It’s easy to take for granted something that has been successful 42 years in a row. I want to make sure we don’t do that. Every year, we have a different group of students who distinguish themselves by conducting college-level academic research in the Seminar program. And, for the past three years, we have an equally distinguished group conducting scholarly research on state government topics with Madison Seminar.

The Washington Seminar program was started in 1973 by Parker social studies teacher John Eyster. Under the guidance of Joe Van Rooy at Parker, and now Scott Gudgel at Craig, this program continues to grow in the number of participating students and the quality of their work.

Our Washington and Madison Seminar students will prepare a final paper. They will then complete their work with a community component involving the media. Four students have appeared on Tim Bremel’s talk show on WCLO with information on their experiences in Madison and Washington. A post-field research piece is planned by The (Janesville) Gazette.

Another community component involves opinion pieces published in the Gazette. Our Seminar scholars will report to the community their findings and opinions drawn from their research.

I was fortunate to appear on WCLO with the Madison Seminar students. Our public information specialist, Kevin Leavy, was on the air today with Washington Seminar students, and I was glad to hear Kevin explain how the Seminar program fits in to our overall Journey Toward Academic Excellence.

My most sincere congratulations go out to the Madison and Washington Seminar students, the program’s co-directors Joe Van Rooy and Scott Gudgel, the volunteers and financial supporters of the program, and our staff that helps make these “outside the classroom walls” experiences possible.

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