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February 8, 2011 > Special Life Events: Paging Mr. Fauchier

Special Life Events: Paging Mr. Fauchier

Proud grandparents are nothing new, but the opportunity to boast of a grandson selected for an exclusive position - one of only 64 in the United States - as a congressional page to serve members of the US Congress is exceptional. Fremont resident Lila Bringhurst can do just that. Grandson Jeremy Fauchier attended Chadbourne School and Hopkins Jr. High School in Fremont before the family moved to Los Banos in San Joaquin County. Now a junior at Los Banos High School, Jeremy is temporarily assigned to Page School in Washington, D.C. Along with the thrill of working closely with national lawmakers, he was present at the State of the Union Address and, following the speech, shook hands with President Barack Obama.

The excitement of being selected was heightened by the speed of his selection. In November, Jeremy's father, Dennis, a member of the Los Banos Rotary listened to U.S Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Merced speak at a Rotary meeting about the opportunity and describe application procedures. Following up, an informational packet arrived only days before the deadline. The rush to complete necessary forms was accomplished and in a whirlwind of subsequent events, Jeremy was off to Washington, D.C.

Jeremy's inclusion in the Page Program follows a historic tradition that began in the 20th Congress of 1827-29 with three "pages" and eight "messengers." From inception until the 1980s, living conditions were unsupervised but in 1982-83, an "oversight board" was created to provide housing and meals in an official residence hall. The Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 mandated a tuition-free program for page school. Initially, only boys were accepted, but on January 3, 1939, the daughter of Representative Eugene Cox of Georgia, served in her father's office during the 76th Congress (1939-1941). Girls became a permanent presence as pages in 1973.

High school classes will continue for Fauchier during employment as a congressional page along with duties such as delivering materials and correspondence, answering phones and preparing the House for sessions. His term of employment will end in June with priority to attend the summer session.

Jeremy's mother, Glinel, says that she was impressed with the orientation program for pages. She adds that the "small environment" of page school and congressional work teaches valuable time management skills and encourages a high level of maturity. Subject matter in Page School is similar to other high schools but the emphasis is on teaching page students to think rather than simply learn facts. A Saturday seminar course is focused on the history and events that influence Washington's political scene. So far, according to his mom, Jeremy loves the experience and is becoming proficient at finding his way between congressional chambers and buildings.

As a consequence of his selection as a congressional page, Jeremy whose focus and academic strengths were in the areas of math and science has a heightened interest in politics. Whatever path he chooses, he will always have fond memories of being an integral part of the U.S. Congress and the camaraderie of fellow pages.

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