Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony Santino handed over the reins to a student for a day as part of Students in Government Day 2017, on Monday, May 15, 2017, while 12 other students from throughout the township were sworn in as department heads and called into duty during a mock severe weather scenario.
“Well over four years have passed since Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on communities throughout the Town of Hempstead, but the path of destruction is still evident with homes being repaired and our beaches undergoing a major restoration project in time for the summer season,” stated Supervisor Santino. “As Hurricane season is about to commence yet again, this program is a great opportunity for 11th grade government students to experience first-hand how government responds during times of crisis.”
By working through a mock hurricane scenario, the students learned how closely all town departments have to work together in order to best serve the residents in an emergency. The scenario featured a hurricane headed straight for Long Island. Students interacted in their various roles to protect the safety and well-being of town residents in the midst of the weather crisis. The real department heads guided them throughout the day.
Students from the following schools participated in the mock severe weather scenario: Calhoun High School, East Meadow High School, Elmont Memorial High School, Floral Park Memorial High School, Hewlett High School, Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway, Holy Trinity Diocesan High School, John F. Kennedy High School, Kellenberg Memorial High School, Lawrence High School, Mepham High School, Sacred Heart Academy and Valley Stream South High School.
Students reconvened for a final emergency management meeting where they each provided a brief update of what transpired within their department. Afterward, they had a question and answer session with Supervisor Santino and council members.
“These students are all learning about government this year, and Students in Government Day is a truly hands-on lesson for them,” concluded Supervisor Santino.