PHOTO: State Rep. Camille Y. Lilly, whose 78th District includes Elmwood Park, speaks to students in one of Mr. Sam Cannici's 7th-grade social studies classes. Scroll down for more photos of Rep. Lilly's visit, or click here for a photo gallery.
State Rep. Camille Y. Lilly (D-78th District) spent several hours recently with some of her younger constituents as she visited classes and spoke with students at Elm Middle School on Tuesday, Oct. 17.
The visit came in response to an invitation from Principal Dr. Kathleen Porreca, who invited Rep. Lilly to be "Principal for the Day."
PHOTO: Social Studies teacher Mr. Sam Cannici introduces State Rep. Camille Y. Lilly to one of his classes on Tuesday, Oct. 17. District 401 photo by Dave Porreca (click image for a larger view).
A Busy Itinerary — and Lots of Questions and Answers
The legislator, who has represented Elmwood Park in the Illinois House since 2010, visited social studies classes taught by Mr. Sam Cannici (7th grade), Mr. Christian Hartwig (8th) and Ms. Susan Hawes (8th).
During her visit, Elm students asked Rep. Lilly numerous questions over the course of two hours, ranging from how she got involved in politics to her life as an elected official.
She noted that she originally didn't aspire to elected office, wanting instead to run a hospital. (Rep. Lilly works full time as vice president of external affairs and development for Loretto Hospital in Chicago.)
Students also asked a number of issue-oriented questions, including such subjects as bullying and Cook County's recently repealed soda tax. Rep. Lilly also discussed the importance of civic education and engagement, noting that she has introduced a bill — HB1252 — that would require Illinois public schools to add a civics unit to the curriculum for 6th, 7th and 8th grades.
PHOTO: One of Mr. Cannici's social studies students asks State Rep. Lilly a question during her visit to Elm. District 401 photo by Dave Porreca (click image for a larger view).
Positive Reactions All Around
So what did Rep. Lilly think of Elm's students?
"The students are awesome," she said. "They had great, thought-provoking questions. They were engaged, they were listening — and we don't get that in Springfield sometimes. So I was excited. The school is awesome, and the teachers' commitment to their students is evident. I feel I'm in heaven at the moment."
According to Dr. Porreca, the feeling was mutual.
"The students were excited to meet with Representative Lilly," she said. "The questions they asked her were thoughtful and showed their awareness of current issues and what their concerns are about our world.
"We pointed out to them that any of them might have a future in elected office. Middle school-aged Camille Lilly certainly didn't think she was going to be a state rep one day. I hope that got some of them thinking."
PHOTO: State Rep. Lilly takes a group photo with one of Ms. Susan Hawes' 8th-grade social studies classes. District 401 photo by Dave Porreca (click image for a larger view).
More Photos from State Rep. Lilly's Visit to Elm
NOTE: The photos below of State Rep. Camille Y. Lilly's visit are also available in a slideshow format, which can be found here. All photos are by Dave Porreca, D401 web/media specialist. Click images for a larger view.