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Bismarck Mayor Steve Bakken had the honor of moderating a Town Hall meeting with Centennial Elementary School third grade students Wednesday. The event was organized and led by Centennial third grade teacher, Beth Kocis in coordination with Gov. Burgum’s and Mayor Bakken’s office. All Centennial Elementary third grade classes and several fourth and fifth grade classes joined to participate in a virtual Town Hall meeting.
The focus of the Town Hall event was for Centennial students to learn about the three branches of North Dakota state government, how they intersect with local government and the expectations and roles of those entrusted with our democracy, as well as the role of citizens and how they can contribute.
The students were honored to host Governor Doug Burgum representing the Executive Branch, Senator Dick Dever, representing the Legislative Branch and Chief Justice Jon Jensen, representing the Judicial Branch of North Dakota State government. Mayor Bakken represented local government. The North Dakota State Government is responsible for coordinating the delivery of public services to North Dakota residents. State government consists of three branches: executive, legislative and judicial.
The program began with a brief welcome by Beth Kocis, the students singing the National Anthem, and the Pledge of Allegiance. Each class was represented by a student and each student asked one question of the participants.
“This was a wonderful opportunity for the students to learn about the three branches of government first-hand, up close and personal, right here in their own community,” said Mayor Bakken. “I was so impressed with the students’ organizational skills, the questions they prepared to ask their distinguished guests, and their poise when asking the questions. I am truly honored to have taken part in this amazing event. I want to extend a big thank you to all of the students and teachers who worked to organize the Town Hall meeting, and to our honored guests Governor Burgum, Senator Dever and Chief Justice Jon Jensen.”