Janesville students arrive in D.C. today for Washington Seminar
In its 41st year, Washington Seminar is celebrating three firsts: Molly, Ellen and Andrew Reid.
The three Parker High School siblings are the first set of triplets to participate in the program since it was founded by John Eyster in 1973.
The 17-year-old triplets are among 53 students from Craig and Parker high schools arriving in Washington, D.C., today. All the students are enrolled in the school district’s Advanced Placement U.S. Government course.
Washington Seminar students choose a federal government issue to research through the school year. Each year during second semester, Washington Seminar scholars travel to Washington, D.C., to conduct field research on their topics.
The Reid triplets have chosen topics as different as their interests.
Andrew is focusing on U.S. foreign aid policy to Arab Spring countries, Ellen is studying privatization of NASA and new NASA roles, and Molly is studying funding for the arts.
Their father, Tim Reid, said their personalities have shown through since they were in their bassinets.
“Andrew would kind of kick his blanket around. With Molly, there was nothing out of place, and Ellen was curled up in the end in the bassinet with the blanket hanging out,” Tim said.
“Ellen pushes the envelope, Andrew is very determined once he sets his mind to something and Molly is hugely organized,” he said.
While they are different with different interests, there are some similarities. All three, for example, are in the National Honor Society.
Molly has been involved both in acting and the technical side in Parker Playhouse and Bower City Theater Company. She had a part in Miss Saigon. She is considering a career in speech pathology or engineering.
“I am interested in government and wanted to learn more, so I took the AP government class,” she said. “I’ve learned a lot and look forward to going to Washington to learn more from my interviews.”
Andrew works at Kmart and through years of scouting earned the rank of Eagle Scout. He’s also been involved in tennis and Spanish Club at Parker.
“I enrolled in AP government to learn more about government and democracy,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the trip to Washington where I already have an interview scheduled at the Cato Institute.”
Andrew has been accepted at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy.
Ellen is involved in Parker choir musicals, Bower City Theater Company and Parker band, and serves as a guide at the Janesville School Outdoor Lab. She plans to pursue a theater career.
“I am in the honors track for social studies, so AP government is part of that. I’m glad it’s offered,” she said. “I heard it was a great class, and it is. I’m looking forward to researching my topic, NASA and the privatization of space, while in Washington.”
While in Washington, D.C., seminar students will receive briefings from Rep. Paul Ryan, Rep. Mark Pocan, Sen. Ron Johnson and Sen. Tammy Baldwin. The students will start the week off with a briefing at the National Press Club by Craig Gilbert, the Washington Bureau chief for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.