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Hermon students have big changes in mind

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Students at Hermon High School made presentations last Friday on issues they found important to them. The presentations were made in front of a panel of 'celebrity' judges, as well as Congressman Mike Michaud, who was invited to the event as a guest. The presentations were part of Project Citizen, a program that helps its participants learn about public policy. 

The students looked at issues that included bullying and school lunches and researched different methods to resolve them. They chose what alternative they thought was the most beneficial, then looked at how they would set the program in place. The group of students who looked at school lunches proposed a student garden, arguing that it would provide them with community service hours. The group who researched school bullying came up with the idea for a poster. The poster would inform students what bullying was, and state what to do if they thought they were a victim. 

One of the judges was so drawn to the anti-bullying poster, she encouraged the students to, '...take it all the way to Augusta.' 

Jesse Hargrove, who teaches social studies at the school, says he wanted to save Project Citizen until the spring semester. Hargrove believed that students would be more restless in the spring, and would like a practical project to work on. 

'When I was explaining it to the students, someone spoke up and said this is going to be hard,' and I said Yes, it is,'' Hargrove said. Hargrove believes the project gives students a taste of how government works. 

'There's no guarantee... you can do all the hard work and research that you want, but it can still be shut down,' Hargrove said. 

Donna Pulver, who graduated from Hermon High School in 1953, served as one of the judges. 

'I think the presentations have been pretty good,' Pulver said. 'I think the students have worked hard to find these issues.' 

Jesse Hargrove says it is up to the students to take their changes to the next level. 

'I'm sure some of them will drop them, but that's OK,' Hargrove said. Hargrove explained that what the students learned from the community was priceless.


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