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Fauquier teens participate in General Assembly Page Program

Thursday, Jan. 16 | By Hannah Dellinger
Raegan Dodson has wanted to participate in the Virginia State Assembly Page Program since she was 7 years old.

“I wrote an essay when I was little,” said Dodson. “When my sister was accepted, I wrote an essay for the application, because I wanted to go too.”

Dodson, a 13-year-old Highland School student, who lives in Culpeper, will be serving as a page for State Sen. Ed Scott, representing the 30th District. Dodson and her family have known Scott for years, and her older sister, Sydney, served as his page when she was in middle school.

“I’ve known Raegan and her sister, who served as a page, for many years,” said Scott over the phone. “She impressed me as someone with the ability to do the work in Richmond while doing the schoolwork back home.“I also think that she will work well with the other pages and staff members.”

Dodson will have to balance her schoolwork while performing page duties in Richmond for the next couple of months. She is already accustomed to balancing a busy schedule. On top of maintaining a “B” average in her eighth grade classes, Dodson participates in the glee club, takes Latin, and volunteers for the Fauquier Food Bank. Dodson also plays field hockey, lacrosse and basketball.

Alexa Williams, a 13-year-old Wakefield School student and Warrenton resident, will also be participating in the page program.
"I am looking forward to serving in the Virginia General Assembly. Learning how the government functions will be a great experience and fun," said Williams in an email. "I have spoken to pages from prior years and they say it’s a time in your life you will never forget. Maybe after being a page I will want to run for office one day."

Williams is in seventh grade and is an avid equestrian. She currently competes on the Wakefield Equestrian Team.

The pages were sworn into duty on Jan. 5 and will serve until March 8. While in Richmond, the pages will work a full day from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. They will assist committee clerks, deliver calendars, distribute documents, file bills and perform general errands like delivering supplies and answering phones.

After working all day, starting at 7 p.m. each weeknight, the pages are required to complete their schoolwork in study hall. Every page is required to maintain an “A” or “B” average in order to remain in the program.

After study hall, the pages are free to call home, rest, socialize or participate in other activities until 10:15 p.m.

The program allows students to learn about how the state legislature functions and teaches them valuable lessons in self-sufficiency. There are chaperones monitoring the students, however they are largely responsible for themselves during the program.

Scott believes that the page program is extremely beneficial for students because of the independence and responsibility that they will earn.

“Over the years I’ve watched pages from across the state provide very valuable assistance for us while they learn about the government and independent living,” said Scott. “It’s a fun part of the general assembly sessions.”

Look for articles by Raegan Dodson about her experience serving as a page for the General Assembly in Fauquier Times beginning with the Jan. 15 edition.
Alexa Williams getting sworn into the page program. Courtesy John and Christa Williams.

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