Culpeper Times • April 28-May 4, 2016
PHOTO BY DAVE ALBO
Selected to serve as a page in the Virginia House of Delegates, Marie Clare Matricardi takes the seat of Del. Nick Freitas (R-30) as they experience what it’s like to cast a vote. ➤ Page, from Page 5 “I was assigned to Information Communication Services,” said Matricardi who found herself helping constituents as they requested information about this particular house bill or another. “Some knew what the bill was about but didn’t know the exact house bill number,” said Matricardi adding, “sometimes it was kind of tricky but I’d help them sort through it.” Page protocol requires the wearing of a uniform of sorts. Matricardi donned a blue blazer and grey slacks or a skirt. “Sometimes I even wore a tie.” Nominated by Del. Michael Webert (R-18), who serves a portion of Culpeper, Matricardi saw a few other familiar faces like Del. Nick Freitas (R-30) while in Richmond. Back from her time in the state’s capitol, Marie Clare was happy to return to her schedule which includes some four days a week at Marie’s School of Ballet. “I love dancing,” smiles Matricardi who also enjoys playing the piano and learning Latin. Her parents share a love of history, and for this young teen, who would like to speak several languages, learning Latin - particularly diagramming sentences seems a good starting point. Poised and articulate, Marie Clare can carry on a conversation that would make you think you were talking to someone much older. But then, a smile will creep across her face, as she giggles about funny things that happened among her page colleagues and “inside” jokes that kept them laughing while learning about the structure of state government and those who run it. While serving as page, plenty of opportunity is given for field trips to places like the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Supreme Court of Virginia. One of the highlights for Matricardi was attending a naturalization ceremony. “We got to hand out small flags to each person...that was very special.” Another was a basketball game held between the pages and several of the delegates. “They won,” laughed Matricardi, “but I’m glad because apparently they had lost the year before.” “I would definitely encourage others to
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Virginia House of Delegates Page Program Each year the Speaker of the House of Delegates appoints 13 and 14-yearolds from across the Commonwealth to serve as House pages during the regular session of the General Assembly. These young people assist the members of the House of Delegates, the House Clerk's staff, and other legislative staff in the daily duties required for the successful operation of the House of Delegates during the session. Pages deliver documents throughout the Capitol complex, and perform errands for members and staff of the House of Delegates during each day's floor session and at committee meetings. Pages are also selected for assignments in specific House offices including the Speaker's Office, the Clerk's Office, the Bill Room, the Copy Center, and the Governor's Office. Pages are trained for these assignments during the first two days of their employment. Every effort is made to provide each page with a variety of work assignments. All work assignments are important to the legislative process and should be performed in a professional manner. Serving as a page is a wonderful experience and an educational opportunity. However, it is also a 40hour per week paid position for which they are making a firm commitment to report to work every day. Requests for time off to participate in extracurricular activities will not be granted. Their commitment requires hard work, initiative, responsibility, and a positive attitude. The Speaker and the Clerk expect excellent behavior from the pages and rely on a strong support network between the pages, their families, teachers, and the Clerk's staff. Source: Virginia State Page Program do this,” says Matricardi. “I made so many friends...you get very close working and living in Richmond...I shed a lot of tears on the last day.” And the future. Matricardi paused thoughtfully, smiled and said, “I may run for the House of Delegates.”
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