D211 Post: Hoffman Estates Students Get Inside Look at City Government

Hoffman Estates Village Manager James Norris discusses the village’s structure of government to students from Hoffman Estates High School.

            Students in Hoffman Estates High School’s Advanced Placement U.S. Government and Politics and Introduction to Government classes received an inside look at the various operations within Hoffman Estates’ village government during a trip to the village hall Nov. 29.

            Hoffman Estates High School Government teacher Kim Ryon said the visit was the second of a three sessions designed to expose students to the breadth of local government functions.  The first session involved Village Manager Jim Norris speaking with the students at the school.  During the second session, students heard from heads of various village board and agency heads including the department of public works, the assistant police and fire chiefs. 

Hoffman Estates Police Department Assistant Chief Gregory Poulos discusses the various responsibilities within his department to a group of HEHS students.

            “We want students to know that government is more than a police officer pulling you over, or passing a Constitution test to graduate,” Ryon said.  “We believe it is important for students to feel connected to their community, and learning about the services the Village provides as well as the day to day efforts of all employed by the village is a way to foster that connection.”

            Senior Annabella Passeri said she was surprised by the complexity and diverse overall involvement of each of the emergency agencies. 

            “Before today, I didn’t realize how involved all the emergency services were,” she said.  “I really enjoyed learning about all the aspects of police work within the village.”

Hoffman Estates High School senior Anabella Passeri takes notes about the village government operations during a visit to the Hoffman Estates Village Hall Nov. 29.

            Ryon said the village was eager with working with her to create the “Village Government Experience,” lessons.

            “Our students were appreciative, engaged and curious,” Ryon said.  “It was also great for the kids to see how many different jobs a village requires to function, and how you don’t necessarily have to have a political science degree to play a role in local government.”

            The final session is tentatively scheduled for the spring and will focus on taxation and finance.