Humboldt County Office of Education: Local Students Take Election Day to the Next Level

Local Students Take Election Day to the Next Level

Local Students Take Election Day to the Next Level

An Economics/Civics class at Ferndale High School had a unique opportunity to get a first-hand glimpse into the inner workings of government on none other than Elections Day this week. Eleven seniors took a field trip on March 3 that proved to be a great educational account of how our local government works.

The first stop was the Board of Supervisors meeting. Students witnessed the meeting in action, showcased their public speaking skills by giving a presentation to the Supervisors about Ferndale and got to hear from the Board about their districts, a day in the life of being a Supervisor, and ask questions about how County government functions.

The next stop was the County Elections Office. There they received a behind the scenes tour about how the office counts, records, and processes ballots. Registrar of Voters, Kelly Sanders offered insight to the inner workings of Election Day and all that leads up to it.

The students visited Congressman Huffman’s office and heard from John Driscoll and Ciera Emery about the difference between State and Federal government. They also discussed some of the current legislation moving forward and what a Congressman does. The students asked questions and received a miniature copy of the constitution as a take-a-way.

Next up was a visit to the State offices of Senator McGuire and Assemblymember Wood where field representatives Thomas Witzel (McGuire) and Erin Dunn (Wood) hosted the students. They provided engaging information about the role of the State office, how they themselves got into politics, and what kind of day-to-day activities could be expected if someone was interested in this type of career path. They encouraged internships as a proven model for interested students to get their foot in the door, learn the lingo, and start to establish relationships in the industry.

Finally, the students travelled to Humboldt State University where Department of Politics Chair, John Meyer, generously treated the students to lunch at the ‘J’. The students took part in an engaging discussion with the HSU Political Science faculty and students.

Humboldt County Office of Education Coordinator, Jim Ritter stated, “This field trip was a remarkable opportunity for these students to learn firsthand about our government and the importance of voting and participating in our community. The hosts at each of our stops were gracious and welcoming to the students. We had an amazing day bringing civics to life.”

This opportunity is possible through HCOE’s Education at Work Program, which provides community connections for career opportunities. To learn more about the program or how to get involved, contact Jim Ritter at (707) 445-7020, or