05152018 Manar Williams NelsonSPRINGFIELD -— State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) welcomed two central Illinois high school students to the Capitol last week as his senators for the day.

Meggan Williams, a junior at Staunton High School, and Noah Nelson, a senior at Taylorville High School, joined Manar in Springfield on Tuesday, May 15.

Williams is the daughter of Jeff and Tammy Williams. She is involved in dance and volleyball. While at the Capitol, she toured the building, accompanied Manar to committee hearings and joined him on the Senate floor for a busy afternoon of debate and votes on key pieces of legislation.

Noah Nelson is the son of Ed and Teresa Nelson. His interest in politics, journalism and current events led him to accept an invitation to attend the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the fall, where he plans to study political science. Nelson also joined Manar on the Senate floor.

Category: People of the 48th

05162018 Henschen ManarSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar welcomed Wyatt Henschen, a senior at Pana High School, to the Capitol last week as his senator for the day.

Henschen, 18, of Oconee is the son of Roger Henschen II and Kim Crow. He was the senior class vice president and played baseball and football. He also is a Make-a-Wish volunteer, enjoys studying politics and U.S. history and is a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals.

While at the Capitol Wednesday, May 16, Henschen joined Manar for a series of meetings with constituents and colleagues.

Category: People of the 48th

SPRINGFIELD – Students and faculty from Pana and Taylorville met with State Senator Andy Manar recently to demonstrate innovative technology-driven projects they developed and to explain how technology is becoming a more important part of their education every day.

The students were at the Capitol for 2018 Tech Day, an annual showcase that offers an opportunity for students throughout Illinois to show state lawmakers how they use devices, the internet and digital curriculum to learn and innovate in school. Tech Day was Thursday, May 10.

“I was so impressed by these students and the projects they brought to the Capitol, as well as by their enthusiasm for technology and digital learning. I was reminded yet again that great things are happening in classrooms every day all around us,” said Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat and a driving force behind the state’s adoption of a new school funding formula last year.

“As we work to ensure every school has adequate resources to provide a modern education, investing in computers, iPads and other technology will be a big part of that ongoing conversation,” he added.

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Pana Washington Elementary School

Manar met with Addasyn Casner and Luke Fitzpatrick, both second-graders at Pana Washington Elementary School, and discussed their project, “It’s Elementary.” Washington students have shared access to iPads, Chromebooks and a computer lab. They are encouraged to use technology for brainstorming, research and presentations.

Casner and Fitzpatrick were accompanied to the Capitol by their teacher, Kim Hahnenkamp, and the school’s technology integration specialist, Jessica Miller.

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Pana Junior High School

An analysis of river systems on Mars was the focus of the digital research project three Pana Junior High eighth-graders brought to the Capitol to show lawmakers.

The students included Lizzie Schafer, 14, of Owaneco; Grace Fitzpatrick, 14, of Pana; and Grace Harriston, 13, of Pana. They were accompanied by eighth-grade science teacher March Schmitz.

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Taylorville Junior High School

Fifth-graders Sophia Rogers and Hannah Hartwig at Taylorville Junior High demonstrated how they used Tinkercad to design and print three-dimensional pioneer-era wagons that actually move. The project was inspired by their study of the westward expansion and a visit to the New Salem State Historic Site.

Rogers and Hartwig were accompanied to the Capitol by fifth-grade teacher Tammy Reindl and school technology director Chris Kuntzman.

Category: People of the 48th

05092018 Manar Keele McConnell 350SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar welcomed Madison Keele, a senior at Nokomis High School, and Emma McConnell, an eighth-grader at Lutheran School Association of Decatur, to the Capitol last week as his senators for the day.

Keele, 18, of Nokomis is the daughter of Brent and Amanda Keele. She follows politics closely, enjoys reading and art, and has a passion for language. She will attend Cornell University in the fall, where she plans to double major in government and Russian. She intends to go to law school after earning her degrees.

McConnell, 13, of Oreana is the daughter of Gary McConnell and Heather McConnell-Smith and Kevin Smith. She plays soccer and is involved in choir, Girls Who Code, and St. John’s Youth Group. She enjoys reading and writing.

Keele and McConnell visited the Capitol on Wednesday, May 9. While there, they toured the building and accompanied Manar on the Senate floor for a busy afternoon of debate and votes on key legislation.

Each teen spoke with Manar for a video about their experience at the Capitol, their education, their interests and their plans for the future. Watch their videos below.


Madison Keele and State Senator Andy Manar senator for a day video


Emma McConnell and State Senator Andy Manar senator for a day video

Category: People of the 48th

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