Students attend State of the State address

IHS students learn much attending State of State address
Posted on 01/10/2020

Students posing for a picture in Albany.

Wednesday's visit to Albany to hear Governor Cuomo's annual State of the State address was far from your average field trip for 19 Irondequoit High School students. Indeed, part of the day included a guided tour through the capitol building with IHS social studies teachers, Mrs. Jackie Mooney and Mr. Jamie Armstrong, but there was much more.

"Students learned about the inner workings of government at the state level, but they also witnessed protestors in the halls who questioned the validity of the governor's statements," Armstrong said. "Our kids respectfully engaged in conversation with protestors. They were literally shouting with megaphones and one guide asked me if we should re-route through side rooms to keep the students away (from the protestors) and I told him, 'No, they need to see this.' "

IHS students also met up briefly and posed for a picture with a pair of IHS graduates who are familiar with the political arena. That duo was new Monroe County Executive and West Irondequoit resident, Mr. Adam Bello, and Town of Irondequoit Supervisor, Mr. David Seeley. With an assist from Seeley, IHS students were among those from around the state invited to hear Cuomo's address.

"It was a great overall experience.  I was not sure what we were going to see there leading up to it, but it was a great experience,” IHS senior Elizabeth Tramonto said. “It was eye opening to see all the politicians, staffers, news groups and levels of security at the event.  The Governor talked about unity among citizens within our state, the economy, what projects were finished in New York State successfully, as well as what the goals were for this year.  I was most surprised to see the number of protesters, especially the anti-vaccination group."

Several students thanked their teachers/chaperones afterward for the real-world, raw experience that took them beyond the classroom setting, Armstrong said. “Honestly, it was awesome," he beamed late Wednesday night shortly before the end of what became a 16-hour trip due to a slow drive home in snowy weather.  Armstrong shared the thoughtful, (civic-minded) questions that students raised after the address.  It will certainly be an experience these students won't soon forget.