Local Students Run the City of Bluefield for a Day

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (WOAY) – Bluefield High School seniors spent the day shadowing public officials and learning about local government.

“It’s a civics class for them, obviously,” said Mayor Ron Martin. “For us, it gives us an introduction with kids that some of us may not have and ideas about what should be happening in the city.”

The mayor said the program not only helped the students but helped the city of Bluefield as well. Students suggested ideas to expand Bluefield such as a public pool and an ice cream parlor.

“[Usually,] it’s just us in a room with the same people day in and day out,” Martin said. “We have the same ideas and share the same thoughts, so everybody thinks alike. This works best when everybody’s involved.”

He hopes that other towns and school systems will encourage the same interest in local government.

“Hopefully, that inspires an interest for some other folks coming along after us because after we’re gone, they’re going to be the ones running the city.”

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Kassie Simmons
Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at ksimmons@woay.com.