Congressman Jim Himes Visits Staples


Ben Goldschlager

Congressman Himes greets Gabriella Rizack ’13. Himes came to Staples and talked to A.P. Government students on Jan. 9.

Congressman Jim Himes, who represents Connecticut’s Fourth Congressional District, which includes Staples High School, came to speak to AP Government classes Wednesday, Jan. 9. He talked about everything from Congress to the fiscal cliff.

Getting Himes to come started with one of John Miller’s AP Government classes. “I was half-joking with my class. I said, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if Jim Himes came?’ And Diego [Alanis ’14] said, ‘Yeah, it would be cool.’ So I said, ‘Go ahead,” said Miller. “I just wrote it off as idle chit chat, but then I got an email from Jim Himes’s office saying, ‘We got an email from one of your students about visiting your school, and we’d love to come.’”

Alanis, who got to introduce Himes because he sent the first email, was happy that Himes decided to come.

Many other students appreciated the congressman’s visit. Will Haskell ’14, who used to intern for Himes, was among them. “People contact him all the time asking him to come to things, and, oftentimes, he has to say no, so it’s really cool that he said yes to this,” Haskell said.

“I’ve never met someone in Congress before,” added Gabriella Rizack ’13. “I want to get a picture with him.”

Cole De Monico ’13 was already familiar with Himes, as he had interned for him over the summer. “[Himes] recognized me, though I’m not sure if he remembered my name,” De Monico said.

DeMonico anticipated that the visit would generate more interest in government. “While Staples students are generally more politically-minded than other students, I think [Himes’s visit] will draw more kids into the study of government,” DeMonico said.

Himes gave students an inside look on what it’s like working in government. He said it was a “messy and tough process,” but he still enjoyed it.

Himes was happy to come to Staples and talk to students. He referred to the AP Government class as “sort of the essence of our democracy.”