image of bcs students participating in the youth in government conference standing with the berkeley county delegation

CHARLESTON — A delegation of Berkeley County middle school students recently participated in the Youth in Government conference at the West Virginia State Capitol in Charleston Feb. 14-16.

Students who participated included: Sabrina Everett (Musselman Middle); Severe Hatch (North Middle); Mersadiez Gisler (North Middle); Gracie Largent (Hedgesville Middle); Jack Hopkins (Hedgesville Middle); Delaney Simpson (Mountain Ridge Middle); Davin Maharaj (Mountain Ridge Middle); Natalee Derricote (Spring Mills Middle); and Leyton Parry (Spring Mills Middle).

During the seminars, they had the opportunity to meet with Chief Justice Tim Armstead, of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, who talked about the role the justices play in state government. They also participated in a mock trial in one of the courtrooms at district court and a mock legislative session in which they debated, amended and voted on various bills.

Students attended a session of the Kanawha County Night Court, where they witnessed actual arraignments of citizens charged with crimes. After the court session, the magistrate answered questions from the students, and the bailiff led them on a tour of the courthouse, which included viewing the booking area and holding cells.

Delegate Michael Hornby, from Berkeley County, met with the students on the House floor and answered any questions they had about the legislative process. He then arranged for a photo opportunity for the students with fellow Berkeley County Delegates Michael Hite and Eric Householder. The students also watched the House of Delegates in session from the gallery before taking a tour of the Capitol complex.

At an evening banquet, hosting by Delegate Paul Espinosa, the students listened to several representatives from Berkeley County, including Senate President Craig Blair, share their experiences in public service. Other members of the Berkeley County delegation who attended the banquet included Delegates Hite, John Hardy and Chuck Horst and Sen. Patricia Rucker.

On Feb. 16, the final day of the conference, students heard presentations from members of both the executive branch and State Treasurer’s Office.