by Judi Biederman
Morrisville is making an investment in the future by continuing to appoint a high school student to take an active role in the borough council. Anna Zuckerman, a 16-year-old junior at Morrisville High School and daughter of Shelley Zuckerman and Tara Perigny of Morrisville and Daniel Zuckerman of Lawrenceville, NJ, became Morrisville’s second Junior Council Person (JCP) when she was chosen for the spot last fall. She succeeded the borough’s first JCP, Nicholas Guirand, who served during the previous school year.
“I feel like I’m learning a lot about what kinds of things need to happen for a small town like ours to work,” says Anna, adding that she really likes getting to see how local government works from a place where she can see things from several perspectives.
Anna’s responsibilities include giving a monthly report on activities at Morrisville High School, which helps other council members to understand student viewpoints but also helps Anna to relate to her peers. “I feel more connected to my school after putting together the student report every month,” she says.
Corryn Kronnagel, a first-term Morrisville council member, describes the JCP role as giving a voice to the younger residents in town. “It allows students to experience local government and creates a forum for their experiences and perspective,” she says, noting that the program was started and is supported by the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs (PSAB).
According to the association’s website, “The PSAB believes that the outreach of both the community to the youth and the youth to the community is the start of building our boroughs toward the future.”
The JCP program was started in 2000; since then, hundreds of students have participated in boroughs throughout the state.
Corryn, who is Anna’s advisor/mentor on the council, describes Anna as smart and enthusiastic. “She has been extremely eager, from her first e-mail expressing an interest in the position, to show Morrisville the perspective of a younger resident, and she has made us all proud with her poise and passion for the position.”
Although the JCP program helps educate students about their local government, Corryn feels it teaches many other things. “It is a way to see the process of how most meetings and legislative bodies are held, which is called Parliamentary Procedure – Robert’s Rules of Order,” she says. “Knowing how meetings are run will help you focus on the issue you wish to address, as opposed to knowing when you are allowed to speak.”
Anna says she has learned a lot as a JCP and highly recommends it to other students who may be interested in politics or local government. She will continue in her role until the end of the school year, when it will pass to an upcoming junior at Morrisville High. Students who might be interested in becoming the next JCP are invited to contact Corryn or any member of the Morrisville Borough Council for more information. Also, any borough resident is welcome to attend council meetings, which generally are held on the third Monday of the month, 7:30pm at Borough Hall.
Corryn says the borough typically advertises the JCP position in early summer, both on the borough website and in local newspapers. She says the council is committed to maintaining the JCP role and to helping borough students, adding, “The younger people in town are affected by what we say and the actions we take as a council, and having a Junior Council Person at our meetings is a great reminder to always look toward the future.”
(Editor’s Note: At press time, the Morrisville Times learned that Anna has been selected to receive the YWCA Bucks County’s “Volunteer of the Year” award.)