DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. -- Springhurst School fourth- and fifth-graders witnessed the swearing in of recently elected Town of Greenburgh officials Wednesday then engaged the officials in a lively question-and-answer session at the Dobbs Ferry school.
Town Judge Walter Rivera administered the oath of office to Town Supervisor Paul Feiner, Councilwoman Diana Juettner, Councilman Francis Sheehan and Town Clerk Judith Beville as students held Feiner's Bible for the ceremony.
"It was pretty good that the (elected officials) came here and answered all our questions," fourth-grade student government member Timothy De Ganon said. "I know a lot about politics from reading and watching (news programs). I like being involved in student government."
Feiner introduced the program describing what elected officials do in the town and answered questions from students about parks, local laws and other concerns from his young constituents.
"The students were so interested and wel- informed about politics and the community," Feiner said. "This is a great forum for us as leaders because we can teach and learn from the young people. I have had swearing in ceremonies at schools in the past and it is always a great experience."
Sheenan and Juettner, both college professors, offered information on their work in the community and encouraged the students to participate in local government. Students asked a variety of questions including the age qualifications for office, how to deal with drunk drivers and parking in the town.
"I am on the student government because I like politics and making laws that help people," fourth grader Mac Alexander said. "I think we asked good questions and got the answers."
Springhurst Principal Julia Drake opened the ceremonies by welcoming the elected officials and the school's vocal group the Harmonaires, under music teacher George Swietlicki, sang "God Bless America" before the swearing in.
"The student government and adviser Donna Misrok organized the event," Drake said. "This was a great opportunity for our students to meet and get to know the town leaders. I thought they did a great job interacting and answering questions."
For those who wish to witness the swearing in, another ceremony will be held Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. at Greenburgh Town Hall.
Judge Rivera said he was thrilled to be able to meet with the Springhurst students, teachers and staff and have a chance to speak about his work.
"This was a wonderful opportunity for us," Rivera said. "The students paid close attention and asked great questions. We invite the school to visit us at Town Hall to see what we do to serve the community."
Beville, who is also a teacher, talked about the role of a Town Clerk in handling licenses, records and introducing residents to the town's business.
"I enjoy serving the community and helping people," Beville said. "Teaching is such an important job and we are here to help you learn how your community works."
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