Former Kitsap commish pays visit to Bremerton students

Susan Schnell’s 7th grade AP class at Mountain View Middle School learned firsthand May 15 what it’s like to be a county commissioner as former Kitsap County Commissioner Charlotte Garrido paid the classroom a special visit.

Discussing a range of topics, including the differences between state and local government, Garrido offered a simplified version of what a politician sees on a day-to-day basis, while building students’ community awareness.

“It’s a very complex job,” she explained to the class. “On one hand it’s difficult, on another it’s exciting.”

As part of a teaching plan that encourages students to think about community-related issues, Schnell said Garrido’s visit paid dividends for her students.

“All I wanted to do was have the kids a little more informed,” Schnell said.

And Garrido, who served as county commissioner from 1997-2000 and is currently looking to regain the District 2 position, said it is important to educate students on current issues.

By empowering “tomorrow’s leaders,” Garrido explained how students are the future to not only Bremerton and the surrounding area but the entire country.

“What you’re learning and what you know is unique to your life experience at this time,” she said.

With hands raised and brows furred, Schnell’s students took interest to Garrido’s words.

“I liked how she explained important issues that a lot of people in my life can’t explain,” student Jacob Guggenmos said. “I felt kind of important having one of the most accomplished women in Kitsap County come talk with me.”

Each forming their own opinions, Garrido left the students with plenty to ponder.

“I learned how important it is to know what is going on in your community,” student Jill Spore said. “I learned how important your voice is in the community.”

Garrido also stressed the importance of education, explaining that the classroom is the gateway to a bright future.

“Charlotte Garrido’s visit was very educational as well as inspiring,” student Kiara Lee Serantes explained. “She helped me realize how much I was interested in my career options, and she made me want to strive for my goals.”

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