Homeschooled siblings page in Olympia for state House
Lake Stevens siblings Bethanie and Ethan Heitzman served as legislative pages for the Washington House of Representatives during the seventh week of session. They were sponsored by 39th District Rep. Dan Kristiansen, R-Snohomish.
"I'm so glad Bethanie and Ethan were able to page at the Capitol this session," said Kristiansen. "Just in one week, students have the opportunity to learn so much about state government while in the page program. I hope they enjoyed their time and will be able to tell their family and peers about their experiences in Olympia."
In her free time, Bethanie enjoys singing and dancing as she plays three instruments – the violin, viola and piano – and sings in her school's choir. She is also a member of the Pilchuk Valley Riders 4-H club.
Her brother, Ethan, is also musically inclined. In addition to playing his Flamenco guitar, Ethan is a member of the Boy Scouts of America and ranks first class in Tae Kwon Do.
As pages, Bethanie and Ethan observed the Legislature in action and were responsible for delivering messages and documents to legislators in their offices, during committee meetings and in the House chamber during floor sessions. They also attended the Legislature's page school, where a certified instructor teaches students about the legislative process.
Pages also have the opportunity to participate in mock committee meetings, where students assume different roles that would normally be observed by legislators, stakeholders and the public during committee hearings.
To become a page, applicants must have a legislative sponsor and be between the ages of 14 and 16. Additionally, pages are required to obtain written permission from their parents and school. Pages are paid $35 a day during their service.
Students interested in participating in the 2015 legislative session's page program are encouraged to apply in the fall. For more information about the House page program, visit: http://www.leg.wa.gov/House/Pages/HousePageProgram.aspx.