On Thursday, April 10, seven students shadowed town government employees in a field trip organized by The League of Women Voters. The experience was eye opening for the students as well as the adults, for both sides got to understand each other a bit more.

To start off the day, AYS picked us up and drove us to the Town Hall where we met the employees and ate breakfast. The muffins were delicious, just saying. After eating, we did some Icebreakers, which helped us to get energized and excited for the rest of the day.

We then embarked on our journeys. It was time for us to gain more knowledge with regards to  the Town of Andover.

I was in the group that shadowed the Town Manager, Finance Manager, and Purchasing Coordinator. The town budget was our primary focus, as we discussed how the budget works and how the budget is managed. We then migrated to meet with the tax collectors, assessors, and the accountants. There are many individuals who have a job that is centered on budget and it was very interesting to learn about them and the role they play.

Then, it was time to depart the town offices and head back to the Town Hall for lunch. The wraps were delicious, and those Doritos really hit the spot. Nothing like a good ol’ bottle of water, too. After sitting at lunch for a little while, CJ Moseley, a junior who participated in the field trip, performed some spoken word poetry. Apparently, CJ found out that he had won a poetry contest, so he performed the piece to us. It was beautiful, I’ll tell you that.

Afterwards, everyone shared a few words explaining their favorite part of their experience that day. Once this group sharing was over, the Town Moderator led us in a discussion of what we, the students, think needs to change in this community. This discussion was great; we voiced our opinions on how we think we can improve communication between adults and students and how general attitude in the community can improve. This conversation was beneficial and it became clear to the town employees that we do care about this community.

Town Government Day was an enriching experience. I’m sure that I can speak for the other students in that I learned a great amount of valuable information about the town. It’s cool to see how this town works because, after all, in case you’ve been living after a rock, we do live in Andover. Meeting with these employees was an empowering experience, and if we continue to meet with the Town Government to show how much we care about Andover, this town has the chance to turn into even more of a community.

By Alex Bensley