Each year when legislators descend upon the Capitol and go to work on behalf of Iowans they are joined by some of Iowa’s brightest and most talented high school students. These students spend the session (or half session) as Legislative pages – serving in the House, Senate and Legislative Services Agency. As the Speaker of the House, I have an office page that assists me and my staff, his primary responsibility being running soundboard in the chamber. I’ve asked him to share his perspective on being a page with you. Meet Zack.
Hello, my name is Zack Krawiec and I have been privileged with the opportunity of serving as the Speaker’s Page for Speaker Kraig Paulsen during the 2014 Legislative Session. Currently, I am enrolled as an 11th grade student at Assumption High School in Davenport, Iowa.
From a young age I have had a profound interest in government and policy, as I grew, so did my interests. My sophomore year of high school I decided to join the school’s debate team. That is when I had the honor of meeting Steve Grubbs. Mr. Grubbs has been a great teacher, mentor, coach, and friend. As a former representative he was able to have in depth discussions with me about my specific interests, and much more. He had mentioned the page program and helped other students apply, and at that point I decided to pursue the opportunity.
The application process consists of completing the required form and sending it to the Chief Clerk’s office the October of the preceding year to the session which you are applying for. At that point you will be notified to come to the Capitol for an interview. Once accepted there is an orientation in which full length pages have the opportunity to apply for office jobs. Pages have the opportunity to apply for the Speaker’s Office, Majority Leader’s Office, Minority Leader’s Office, and Chief Clerk’s Office.
Many responsibilities come with the job of being the Speaker’s Page. During a typical day I take dozens of pictures of House Republicans with their constituents, record information and develop press releases, manage the microphones of representatives during debate, take care of the Speaker’s gavels, greet visitors in the office, answer phone calls, and help update the list of those receiving the Speaker’s newsletter. Having these responsibilities has helped me mature and prepared me for my future.
Having this job has presented me with opportunities I had never before thought possible. On any given day I could go from attending press conferences to rubbing shoulders with our state leaders at the page lunch and learn. My favorite part of being a page has been the invaluable relationships and friendships that I have formed while in Des Moines. Everyone in the Capitol, especially the Speaker’s office staff, have been more than welcoming and made my experience a memory that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.
I hope to continue my work at the Capitol next year, and then attend the University of Iowa. As of now my interests lie in International Relations and World Economics. Following college, I hope to attend law school, specializing in International Law. If nothing else, the Page Program has set me on the right path toward achieving my lofty goals.
I would recommend the Page Program to all high school students, regardless of their interests. The page program provides a hands-on way to learn the legislative process and meet the leaders of the state of Iowa. I would encourage everyone to take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity.