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Nazareth student elected ‘governor for a day’

April 1, 2012
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WAKEFIELD - Governor Deval Patrick will yield his seat to a “Naz’’ girl on April 13 during Student Government Day at the State House.

Sofia Pagliuca, 18, a senior at Nazareth Academy, was chosen over hundreds of students from other Massachusetts high schools to serve as student governor for the day. “It should be an interesting day,’’ said Pagliuca, smiling shyly.

“There will be kids there from all over.’’ A total of 440 students from 220 high schools will participate.

At Nazareth, Pagliuca is vice president of the student government, and president of HOPE, a community service group. She is captain of the school’s volleyball and tennis teams. “She’s a leader,’’ said principal Phyllis Morrison. “She cares about her school and community.’’

An aspiring nurse practitioner, Pagliuca has been accepted to Northeastern University and Simmons College.

After four years at Nazareth, a girls’ high school, Pagliuca says she has grown more confident.

“It helped me to come out of my shell,’’ she said. “We’re all friends here. . . . There’s not as many distractions’’ as at a larger, coed school.

On Student Government Day, students will assume roles in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. State representatives will debate a bill to make community service a requirement for graduation. Senators will debate a bill to deny driver’s licenses to truants. Other students will meet with other executive officers, including the attorney general and secretary of state. Another group will meet with clerks and associate justices of the state Supreme Judicial Court.

As the state’s top elected official, “Governor Pagliuca’’ will address a joint session of the student Legislature. She plans to talk about preparing high school students for jobs in the future.

“Americans need 21st-century skills that improve our education, and in turn, increase our employability,’’ she wrote in a draft of her speech.

“When it comes time for our generation to be working, if we don’t have the necessary skills, what will happen?’’

Kathy McCabe

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