Three serve as House pages in Olympia

Program is open to 14- to 16-year-olds

OLYMPIA ­—Three local students have served as pages in the state House of Representatives, sponsored by 42nd District Rep. Luanne Van Werven, R-Lynden.

The three are home-schooled student Nick Mutchler of Ferndale and Lynden Christian High School students Jenna Walters and Isabella Almlie. The latter two spent their spring break from school in Olympia.

Each year, students from around the state apply to participate in the legislative page program. Students spend a week attending page school, where they learn the inner workings of state government and assist legislators on the House floor. Students also draft legislation and present their bills in a mock committee hearing to fellow pages.

“I am always excited when young people from Whatcom County come to page in Olympia,” said Van Werven.

Of Mutchler, she said he did great work as a page and showed a strong work ethic. “It was great to see him express such an interest in the Legislature. I could see public service being in his future.”

Nick is a son of Ferndale Mayor Jon Mutchler and Diane Mutchler. He is the first of his seven siblings to serve as a page. He is a student leader in his youth group at Ferndale Alliance Church and he also works for the Ferndale Record.

Jenna and Isabella, as their culminating project, drafted legislation that would clean groundwater surrounding the Hanford nuclear site. They presented the bill to fellow pages during a mock committee hearing.

“The girls enjoyed drafting a bill and following it to the end of the legislative process. They were very passionate about their issue,” said Van Werven.

Jenna is a daughter of Jeff and Susan Walters of Blaine. Isabella is a daughter of Bill and Lande Almlie of Everson.

Pages earn $35 per day while serving in the program. To become a page, applicants must have a legislative sponsor, be age 14 to 16, and obtain written permission from their parents and school.