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Six Harford County students head to Annapolis to serve as student pages
Six high school seniors were recently selected to serve as student pages for the 2023 Maryland General Assembly, including Matthew Botteon and Braelyn Howard of C. Milton Wright High School; Grace Callwood of Edgewood High School; Sara King of Fallston High School; Molly Martin of Havre de Grace High School; and Mark Matysek of Patterson Mill High School.

Pages were hand-selected following a grueling application process that included a written test and an extensive oral interview before a 10-person committee, consisting of peers and educators from around the county, who tested the applicants on their knowledge of politics and other various topics. Based on a published rubric, the five highest scorers have the honor of being a page in Annapolis; the sixth highest score on the rubric is the alternate who will replace anyone who cannot serve due to illness.

“As a political science teacher, I am passionate about the Student Page Program,” said Michael Brogley, coordinator of the Student Page Program in Harford County and C. Milton Wright High School social studies teacher. “Pages, I urge you to live in the moment during this experience, to really take it all in.”

A Student Page Breakfast was held December 8, 2022, at Aberdeen High School, and the newly-named pages spent the morning getting to know each other and the elected officials they will assist during the session. They were afforded the opportunity to ask questions and exchange contact information. The pages’ parents, as well as school and elected officials, were invited to the breakfast, hosted by Aberdeen High’s Family and Consumer Science Program.

Student Pages

Mr. Matthew Botteon, 18, is President of the Senior Class Council and a member of the National Honor Society, the Math Honor Society, and the Spanish Honor Society.  He serves in the organization Volun-teen and enjoys volunteering his time to community-based projects like Thanksgiving in a Box and Bailey’s Heart and Sole 5K Run.  Mr. Botteon plans to study computer science at a four-year university next year.

Miss Grace Callwood, 18, is Senior Class President of the Student Government Association and serves as officer for Mock Trial and the Black Student Alliance at her school.  In addition, she is as a member of the National Honor Society, the French Honor Society, and the Rho Kappa Social Students Honor Society.  Miss Callwood is also in the concert/marching band and on the Women’s Lacrosse Team.  Beyond the school walls, Miss Callwood runs a youth-led nonprofit called the We Cancerve Movement, Inc. that works to bring happiness and swift solutions to homeless, sick, and foster children.  Through her non-profit, she has been able to serve more than 26,000 youth in need since 2012!  Miss Callwood hopes to attend Howard University, Princeton University, Georgetown University, or Northeastern University to major in Political Science and minor in Sociology on the Pre-Law track.

Miss Braelyn Howard, 17, is President of the National Honor Society, Captain of the Envirothon Team, Committee Head of the Tri-M Music National Honor Society, Section Leader of Marching Band, and Advisor of her school’s Writing Center.  In addition, she is a member of the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Safety Council, the Senior Class Council, the Math National Honor Society, the Science National Honor Society, the French National Honor Society, Math League, and French Club. Previously, she served as President of the Junior Class Council.  Miss Howard is on the Varsity Swimming and Cross Country teams and in the Chamber/Symphony Orchestra.  Outside of school, she has more than 650 hours of community service as a front desk and patient area volunteer at Upper Chesapeake Medical Center, an intern at Laurel Medical Associates, as assistant senior patrol leader of Harford Day Scout Camp, and a Special Olympics Maryland volunteer.  She has also supported the Harford County Teen Court, the Harford County Farm Fair, the Harford County Public Library, and the Eden Mill Nature Center.  Miss Howard is a swim instructor and lifeguard, as well as a Chick-fil-A team member.  She is committed to Wake Forest University to study business on the pre-med track.

Miss Sara King, 17, is Vice President of the Student Government Association and a member of the National Honor Society, FBLA, the National Business Honor Society, and the Science Honor Society.  She is also on the Varsity Tennis Team.  Outside of school, Miss King works as a lifeguard and also managed the social media campaign for a county councilman.  Following graduation, Miss King hopes to attend Penn State University or the University of Virginia.

Miss Molly Martin, 17, is President of the Orchestra, Vice President of the National Honor Society, and serves as a member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society, Academic Team, and Speech and Debate Team.  She is also the Music Department Aide for Havre de Grace Middle/High School.  Miss Martin is on the Varsity Girls Soccer and Tennis teams.  In the community, she has served as a Harford Glen Counselor, a Havre de Grace Independence Day Volunteer, a Holiday tree Jubilee Volunteer, and a Havre de Grace Candlelight Tour Volunteer.  She also has a part-time job at Keyes Creamery.  Miss Martin hopes to attend the University of Maryland, College Park to study Government and Politics/Political Science.

Mr. Mark Matysek, 17, is flute section leader for his school’s marching band and is captain of the wrestling team.  He also plays football and runs track.  Mr. Matysek hopes to attend University of Maryland to study Political Science.

The pages will serve in the 2023 legislative session that will begin in early January and continue through April. They will spend two, non-consecutive weeks with host families in Annapolis while serving in either the House of Delegates or the Maryland Senate. The pages are paid a stipend to cover their living expenses.

The statewide Student Page Program in Annapolis has been ongoing for more than 40 years. Every high school in the county is urged to participate in the program, and each school has an equal chance of having its candidate(s) score in the top five to become a page in Annapolis.

Top row (left to right):  Delegate Steve Johnson, Mark Matysek, Matthew Botteon, Braelyn Howard, Senator Jason Gallion; bottom row (left to right):  Sara King, Molly Martin, Grace Callwood, Delegate Teresa Reilly