Keeping an eye on the speaker's gavel

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Hello, my name is Rachel Zumbach and I am the Speaker’s Page for the 2017 Legislative Session. I am a Senior at North-Linn High School, which is about 20 miles straight north of Cedar Rapids. While in high school I had the opportunity to participate in numerous activities, but my favorite is FFA, in which I currently serve as the Iowa FFA Northeast State Vice President. I have a passion for helping others and agriculture which is why I will be attending Iowa State University to major in Agriculture Education this fall. This passion derived from growing up on our family farm near Coggon, a small town in Northeast Iowa.

While living in Northeast Iowa you wouldn’t expect the page program to be widely known. However, because my government teacher, Quentin Stanerson, was a previous State Representative, he informed my classmates and me about this opportunity. Mr. Stanerson posted the application on the board right in front of my desk and every day when I walked into class he told me to apply. But in the end, my decision to do so was greatly influenced by my father, Louie, running for office in 2016.

Working at the Capitol this year was especially memorable because I got to work alongside my dad as he was elected to be the Representative for House District 95. These past few months working together have been great as it has allowed me to live on my own, but still with the safety net of having one of my parents nearby at all times. This was helpful when I forgot extra money for the food court, was in desperate need for an oil change in my car, or the times I needed that parent/guardian signature for a scholarship I was filling out the day it was due.

While working as the Speaker’s Page, I have had several day-to-day tasks. Although, some of them aren’t extremely exciting, such as getting the mail and writing news releases, there are still many things I enjoyed working on. These included: organizing the office, being Speaker Upmeyer’s right hand gal during debate, and protecting the gavel former Speaker Kraig Paulsen handcrafted for her. As it was made known to me before I started working here, Representatives will often hide the gavel if I’m not paying full attention. One other job that I enjoyed was being the care taker for the office’s pet snail, Trump!

• Rachel Zumbach is a senior at North-Linn High School and the daughter of Rep. Louie Zumbach (R-Coggon).

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