On Wednesday, April 6th U.S. Representative for Illinois’ 15th congressional district, John Shimkus, made a special trip to Brownstown High School to speak with students about his career in Washington D.C. Mr. Shimkus grew up in and still resides in Collinsville, Illinois. After high school he attended West Point College, then became a high school history teacher. He has humble roots in politics, as he started out in city and county positions before transitioning to the federal government. Students were very receptive to his enthusiastic nature and compelling narrative. As he began he passed around two items to the junior and seniors: his congressional pin and his voting card.
Students asked anything but easy questions to Mr. Shimkus during the question and answer segment. The first was a relatively normal question for a congressman, asking about his stance on the Panama Papers to which he replied that he is interested in seeing what countries were involved in the affair, and was confident that our government was not involved. The next few questions were heavily influenced by one of our teachers and may or may not have been incentivised with a few extra bonus points. This teacher in question, the one and only Mr. Toby Harms, has an almost addictive relationship with two things, politics and sports, and when he saw the opportunity to ask a congressman his opinion on daily fantasy sports, he almost resembled a kid in a candy store. Other controversial topics ranged from his opinion on presidential candidates to gay marriage.
Mr. Shimkus recently won his congressional district by defeating Kyle McCarter. His intelligence, likeable personality, and commitment to his beliefs makes both republicans and democrats listen attentively when he speaks. Despite the fact that Fayette County did not vote in his favor, it was humbling of him to address our county. Brownstown High School would like to thank Mr. Shimkus for this unique opportunity to sit down with a United States Congressman for over an hour. Pictured below are juniors and senior of BHS listening to Mr. John Shimkus.
By Harley Brandt and Brock Oberlink
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