High school students get chance to call the shots in Buffalo Grove
In what has become an annual tradition, the Buffalo Grove Civics Forum last week gave select Buffalo Grove and Stevenson high school students a chance to gain hands-on experience in municipal government experience by making decisions on actual village policies.
The participating AP U.S. History students served as either village trustees or members of the village staff during the Sept. 27 event at the village hall. The village board members themselves had a rare opportunity to watch from the audience while their high school counterparts held discussions.
Participating students included Matthew Allaire, Reilly Allen, Alibek Asanbaev, Paddy Bateman, Jack Demirjian, Ari Duvel, Natalie Garayeva, Ethan Hill, Minjin Khuchitbaatar, Collette Kim, Troy Kowalski, Veronica Liu, Anthony Makhovik, Gael Montesinos, Maya Moreno, Cole Rhemrev, Mia Roque, Abigail Toushin, Hannah Yu, Jack Demirjian, and Jericho Feliciano.
The student village board heard four proposals from student department heads and chose one project for village funding.
Village Clerk Janet Sirabian, who presided over the forum, said students learn about federal and state government in school, but don't learn much about municipal government.
"We want them to know that this is the most accessible form of government there is," she said.
And the forum is no mere academic exercise. Sirabian pointed out that the video board in the front lobby of the village hall is the result of a project that came out of a civics forum.
The winning proposal last week, from the public works team, was a gas-powered post driver that would install village signs, including crosswalk, no parking and stop signs. The team said the village replaces 150 of its 3,000 signs each year, many of which are destroyed in accidents.
Their replacement requires workers to lift heavy and tall weights above their heads and pound the new signs into the ground. Workers run the risk of injury, at a heavy liability cost to the village, team members said.