Clinical Government Program to Begin at City Hall
Beginning Tuesday, June 12, 2012, eighteen Maine West High School students will be attending class at Des Plaines City Hall followed by a two-hour work session in individual City departments. It’s all part of the annual summer Des Plaines Clinical Government Program, allowing students to fulfill a half credit government course requirement.
Under the direction of Maine West Social Science Instructor Owen Doak, the program is designed to expose students to local government by providing them with hands-on experience. In addition to attending workstations and/or touring City Divisions/Departments such as Public Works & Engineering, Health and Human Services, Human Resources, Fire, Police, and the 9-1-1 Communications Center, students are required to attend the June 18, 2012, City Council Meeting. They also visit the Des Plaines Park District, the Center of Concern, the Grove (Glenview Park District), the Skokie Courthouse, the Self Help Closet and Food Pantry, the Des Plaines Public Library, Maine Township Hall, the Maine Township Food Pantry, and the Des Plaines History Center. Students will work with Rainbow Hospice and visit Asbury Court Retirement Community and the Frisbie Community Senior Center.
According to Kathy Puetz, the City’s Community Social
Worker, an “Intergenerational Discovery Day” is held during which time “students have the opportunity to meet with Des Plaines seniors who live independently and those who live in a retirement home.”
“We strive to show them that, while there may be great age differences, there are similarities. By interacting with the seniors, they learn their likes and dislikes and what they were like when they were young. We show them how government impacts on seniors and their lifestyle in the community,” Puetz said.
In addition to the orientation sessions and “hands on”
experiences, City Officials, Department Heads and representatives address the students during their two-hour classroom session. Amongst those included as speakers are Mayor Martin J. Moylan, City Clerk Gloria Ludwig, City Manager Mike Bartholomew, Director of Finance Dorothy Wisniewski, Fire Chief Alan Wax, Assistant Director
of Public Works and Engineering Jon Duddles, Superintendent of Utility Services Tim Watkins, Director of Human Resources Michael Earl, Director of Information
Technology Michael Duebner, Deputy Executive Coordinator of Homeland Security and Emergency Management John Pluta, Acting Chief of Police Mike Kozak, and former Police Chief Joseph Kozenczak.
This year the Clinical Government student participants
include Erin Conoboy, Ken Fester, Kurt Fester, Brittany Gilliland, Brenda Gomez, Kayla Hansen, Miriam Harvey, Jean Kang, Leanna Kehl, Kyle Morishita, Kay
Nohelty, Georgia Petersen, Rebeca Ruiz, Alexandra Salaiza, Jason Selby, Nicole Selby, Nicole Trytko, Jessica Vasquez, and Samantha Whalen.
The three-week program concludes with a press
conference televised live on local cable channel 17 at 9 AM, Thursday, June 28, 2012, from the City Council Chambers at City Hall. The conference allows students to question
City/agency officials regarding their Clinical Government experiences.