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Local students get a visit from the mayor

Kellar offers advice to Mitchell students, answers questions about how city government works.

Posted: May 13, 2008 7:16 p.m.
Updated: July 14, 2008 5:01 a.m.

Ashlee Edwards, third grader from Mitchell Elementary School, asks Mayor Bob Kellar a question during his visit, where he talked to the students about government and the importance of education.

 
Nearly 90 youngsters at Mitchell Elementary School in Canyon Country learned a lesson about city government and politics from a pro recently as Mayor Bob Kellar visited their school.

After introducing his topic, the mayor turned the discussion over to Marty Kovacs, a grandfather of some Mitchell Elementary students who invited Kellar to speak.

Kovacs touched on important traits students need to have to go into politics, like responsibility and doing the right things as a citizen.

Then the mayor fielded questions from the eager youngsters, answering inquiries ranging from where his office is located (City Hall) to how many times he has served as mayor (this is his second term as mayor and third as a City Council member).

After one student asked how he had become mayor, Kellar explained his initial involvement with Frontier Days and his role as rodeo chairman.

Kellar soon found himself in multiple local organizations.

"The more people I seemed to know, the more involved (I was)," he told the crowd in the school's multipurpose room.

He told the story of becoming a planning commissioner in the early '90s. Years later, he would be asked to run for City Council.

In 2000, he was elected and was re-elected both in 2004 and most recently in April.

Kellar told the fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders that it was an honor and privilege to be mayor and that Santa Clarita city leaders care for the people.

"We love this city and everybody in it," he said.

Aside from explaining local politics, Kellar offered advice to the students.

"Your responsibility is to learn," he told the crowd. "That is your number one job."

"I want you to know how important your education is," he said, later adding that an education will open doors for the youngsters to accomplish good things.

After the talk, the students reflected on what they learned.

"I learned all about the things the mayor does," said fifth-grader Michelle Castillo, 11.

Catherine Brady, 11, understood the importance of education, along with the politics lesson.

"I learned about our valley and our nation and government and different stages of government," the fifth-grader said.

Roni Andrus, principal of Mitchell Elementary, said this was the first time Kellar had visited the school to meet with students.

She believes the visit gave students an idea how accessible and approachable the mayor is.

Fifth-grade teacher Maddie Stodart agreed.

"He's a real person," she said, adding that being a mayor is not just a title.

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