April 23, 2016

Pickens Students Skype with Sen. Manchin | Elkins Inter Mountain

PICKENS - Students at Pickens School were able to participate in a live, online chat with U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III.

Students in grades six through 12 participated in the Skype chat with Manchin, and were able to ask questions about various current policy issues.

In a press release Senator Manchin said, "The students asked excellent questions, and we had a dynamic conversation about taxes, our nation's debt and how I'm working to create jobs in West Virginia. I always look forward to my weekly Skype sessions because they give me a great perspective on the issues that are important to our young people in West Virginia. Thank you to the Pickens School students and staff that participated in today's engaging discussion and I look forward to our next visit."

Instructor Donna Knotts said, "We had students submit questions, and we picked out five that were pertinent."

"It was very educational and informative for all of our students, especially our younger students, too," Knotts said.

The group was able to ask a total of five questions during a 30-minute discussion with Senator Manchin.

Students asked questions regarding aid to senior citizens, job opportunities, healthcare for veterans, national debt and the United States' tax structure.

Freshman Hannah Parson asked, "Because West Virginia has a high percentage of senior citizens, what is Congress doing to aid senior citizens?"

Sophomore Alexis Sanders asked, "Because West Virginia has a huge number of veterans, what are you doing to help improve the healthcare of our veterans, especially when we read that people in the Veterans Administration are not fired when they do not perform their jobs?"

This is the first time that Pickens School has participated in an experience similar to this.

Students, School Technology Coordinator Dave Whipp, teachers Jill Currence, Donna Knotts, Lynn Hudok, principal Christine Long, and Mr. Hawse, a representative for Senator Manchin, filled the largest room at the school during this event.

"The students were very attentive," Knotts said.

Knotts added because the live chat was pictured on a large screen, students were also able to see Senator Manchin's office during their discussion.

Each week, Senator Manchin participates in an online chat via Skype with high school or college students around the state.

"Today I had a lively discussion with a group of bright students from Pickens School," Manchin said.

By:  Brooke Binns