A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Conner junior Juliana Surprenant is spending half her school year as U.S. Senate page in Washington, D.C.

Conner High School Student Juliana Surprenant is spending half of her junior year in Washington, D.C. as a U.S. Senate Page working for her sponsor Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell.

A United States Senate Page is a non-partisan federal employee.

Juliana says she has been waiting for this moment since she was in eighth grade.

Juliana Surprenant

Juliana’s mother Cathy says, “Juliana heard about the U.S. Senate Page program three years ago from my friend who participated back in the 80’s. She has spent the last few years doing everything she could to build her resume for this application.”

Juliana says she applied not knowing if she had a real chance. But she refused to be deterred when hearing comments like, “you won’t get in, you have to know someone.”

A candidate must be in 11th grade and has to have at least a 3.0 GPA to apply.

Juliana’s day consists of attending school every weekday from 6:15 a.m. until about 9:45 a.m. She then works as a Senate Page under Senator Mitch McConnell from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. or until the Senate adjourns. She is required to wear a uniform and the rules are strict.

Juliana is one of 28 Senate pages. She will room with four to six students and there is a curfew. Juliana will earn a small salary but out of that she must pay for her room and board.

Juliana Surprenant and Principal Tim Hitzfield

Principal Tim Hitzfield says he’s had students become pages on the state level but this is a first on the national level.

Juliana is described by Hitzfield as a “hard working tenacious student with incredible leadership qualities, who we are very proud of.”

Known for being an exceptional student at Conner High, in her spare time Juliana is also involved in Varsity Track, Varsity Cross Country, the Academic Team, Leadership League, Boone County Youth Cabinet, FCCLA and the National Honor Society.

While Juliana has a deep interest in politics and debating she plans to major in science and mathematics in college.

Juliana’s mother says, “I am so very proud of Juliana for the dedication she has shown to make this dream a reality. The experience she will gain from nearly 5 months of living and working in D.C. will be invaluable.”

Juliana Surprenant is another product of a nationally recognized high performing “Best High Schools” in Kentucky, ranked by U.S. News and World Report.

If you tune to C-SPAN2 you can occasionally see Juliana.

From Boone County Schools

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