By Crystal Howerton
Knox County High School Junior Tara Mason is bound for Washington, D.C. having recently been accepted for the Republican Page program.
In early October, Tara, with the assistance of her High School Counselor, Dani Fromm, began a lengthy application process that led to her being selected as a page for U.S. Congressman Kenny Hulshof. The application included information on family, academic standing and classes, work experience, organizations and community service involvement, as well as recommendations and a 300-word essay explaining her reasons for wanting to become a page. She obtained endorsements from First District Representative Brian Munzlinger and Senator Wes Shoemeyer, in addition to endorsements from St. Louis Federal Judge E. Richard Webber and the Missouri Safety Council's Executive Director Dale Findlay.
A number of area businesses, organizations, churches and sororities have been contacted to assist with expenses incurred during this great opportunity. Members of the community have been asked to help alleviate the costs (see ad elsewhere, this issue) of round trip airfare for Tara and her parents to Washington, D.C., in addition to, a lap top, Tara's room deposit, and page uniforms.
"We at Knox County R-1 are so pleased and excited to have Tara representing our school," said Fromm. "Tara was up against the best of the best! She is one of only 24 republican pages selected nationwide."
"This is not only an honor for Tara and her family, but the school and community, as well. I have confidence that she will make the most of her opportunity in Washington and represent Knox County well," stated Fromm.
Tara will spend the 2008 spring semester in Washington, D.C., departing on January 27, 2008 and returning on June 6, 2008. During this time she will act as a messenger to Congressman Kenny Hulshof on top of attending five honors classes, which include pre-calculus, trigonometry, American literature, economics and government courses.
Although, she is excited about the chance to see Washington, D.C., probably more beneficial to Tara is the opportunity she will have to view sessions and learn about the law-making process, as her future plans include attending the University of Missouri in Columbia where she will study law.
Tara is presently active in band, National Honor Society, Renaissance, A+ program and serves as Student Council Reporter at Knox County Schools. She has previously been involved in cheerleading and Honor Choir, as well. Since May 2007, Tara has been employed at the Citizens Bank of Edina working weekends and holidays. Her favorite subject is math with Mrs. Leverton. Tara enjoys reading and spending time with her friends and family, including her grandparents, whom she considers to be her role models.
Tara is the daughter of Bruce and Angie Mason of Edina and Kelley Western of Queen City. She has five brothers and sisters.