Pol Hosts Mock Press Conference for Students

Assemb. Michael Montesano (R-Syosset) held a mock press conference Tuesday for Bethpage High School and Hicksville High School journalism students — but the questions raised were as serious as a real-life news briefing.

“To me, this wasn’t a mock press conference, it was the real thing,” said Montesano at the William P. Bennett Hicksville Community Center, where the conference was held. “The students learned how to apply theories studied in the classroom to real life.”

Students from both high schools questioned Montesano on the ban the sale and distribution of synthetic marijuana, a bill to increase prevention of prescription drug abuse and energy efficiency in schools.

“How will the new legislation to assist schools in maintaining vital staff and programs help to lower the amount of energy schools waste?” asked Tashif Ferdos, a senior from Hicksville High School.

The assemblyman explained that by remodeling school buildings to have green energy technology, school districts may pay more upfront but save more in the long term.

Most students seemed interested in the legislation regarding that particular development from Albany, considering its direct impact on school districts’ budgets.

But the biggest lesson may have been for Montesano to see the talent this room full of budding scribes could bring to the news industry in the future.

“Journalism will be very important in the next generation because without journalists, where would the information on business, culture and more come from?” said Montesano.