On April 8th, 16 eighth grade students attended the 49th Annual Dane County Youth Government Day in Madison. The day is sponsored annually by the American Legion. Two DeForest Legion representatives, Rich Hankins and Wayne Noltemeyer, along with social studies teacher Greg Vandehey, accompanied the group. Students started at the Dane County Courthouse, along with students from several Dane County schools. They were welcomed by Carlo Esqueda, Dane County Clerk of Courts. Dane County Executive, Joe Parisi, also spoke to the students and emphasized the importance of local government.
Students learned about the history of Dane County, the organization of its government, and the current county officials. Some of the offices students visited and learned about included: Public Safety Building, Courthouses, District Attorney’s Office, Clerk of Courts, Treasurer, County Clerk, Medical Examiner, Sheriff, and Register of Deeds. Students learned about the process for jury selection. A deputy also talked to students about ways they can be role models to help prevent bullying at school, at home, and on the Internet, including the importance of reporting it to an adult.
The day concluded with a deputy from the Dane County K-9 unit, Keith Kelly, and his dog, Rico. Mr. Kelly talked to the students about how Rico was trained, and described how Rico helps the Dane County Sheriff’s Department provide safety to citizens. Hankins and Noltemeyer guided the tours and the local DeForest Legion made a contribution to cover a lunch from Subway for all DeForest students attending.
Hankins and Noltemeyer also shared information about opportunities they provide for students in DeForest including scholarships, Badger Boys and Girls State, Legion baseball teams, and various contests.