McConnell Thanks Senate Page School Principal Kathryn Weeden for Senate Service
‘To a special degree, her legacy will have helped form and shape America’s civic future for the better. Because she gave of herself so generously to a special class of young people - those who are so interested in our American government that they just had to come see it firsthand. So today, the Senate celebrates this outstanding legacy and warmly congratulates Principal Weeden on such a tremendous accomplishment. We thank her for all she has done.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the retirement of Mrs. Kathryn Weeden, Senate Page School principal:
“As Senate Majority Leader, it’s my honor this morning to acknowledge a truly remarkable legacy of service to the Senate – and really, to the nation. Next month, the Senate Page School will say goodbye to its beloved principal. After twenty-six years heading up this unique institution, our very own Mrs. Kathryn Weeden is starting a new chapter as a very deserving retiree.
“For more than a quarter century, Principal Weeden has been a constant anchor in a place where rotation and change are par for the course. The Page School, as we all know, welcomes a new class of high-achieving young people, from all across the country, every semester. These students’ experience is most famous for the fast-paced, hands-on exposure to the inner workings of American government that it involves.
“But in the early mornings and late evenings, when they’re not delivering bill text around the Capitol, assisting members here on the floor, or engaged in any number of other tasks that help this place actually run. They’re also dealing with the academic rigors of the 11th grade. Thirty teenagers at a time, living, studying, and working full-time on Capitol Hill. Needless to say, keeping this unique arrangement running smoothly is less an ordinary job – even a full-time one – and more like a life’s mission. And by all accounts, it’s a mission Principal Weeden has executed with constant competence, total professionalism, and the utmost grace.
“Now, if I had to guess, a large share of that grace was spent in the 5:00am hour most mornings. That’s typically when she’d first encounter what I’m sure were the most chipper and alert 16- and 17-year-olds around. But while the hundreds of pages who have worked, studied, and grown under Principal Weeden’s watch may not miss their early-morning math class, they sure do miss her. They left with lasting memories of her attentive mentorship and compassion.
“Among recent graduates of the page program, some of whom I’ve been proud to sponsor through my own office, the conclusion is clear: Principal Weeden is simply the best. They remember the way she would make time for weekly one-on-one meetings to check up on their progress and talk about their future goals. They remember the way she radiated excitement leading the school in assembling care packages for servicemembers deployed overseas. They remember her knack for reassuring words and for helping them put the daily stresses of high school in perspective.
“Inevitably, after 26 years, Principal Weeden’s legacy is counted in the flood of letters sharing stories like these following the news of her retirement. But it’s also measured in her commitment to transform the Page School as a top-notch academic institution. It’s thanks to her no-nonsense leadership that this unique program has earned and maintained accreditation. That its rigors have earned the attention and respect of prestigious universities. And that it continues to attract talented and passionate educators to carry on in her example.
“Unsurprisingly, the colleagues and faculty whom Mrs. Weeden has mentored and supervised are no less enthusiastic in their praise than her former students. Talking to them about their departing boss, you hear words like disciplined, nurturing, and patriotic. You’re painted a picture that looks something like a Mother Superior, a no-nonsense administrator, an exacting leader, and a true friend, all in one. Being entrusted with the care, feeding, education, and maturation of so many young men and women over so many years would be an accomplishment no matter where Principal Weeden had worked.
“But to do all that at the Senate Page School means something even more. To a special degree, her legacy will have helped form and shape America’s civic future for the better. Because she gave of herself so generously to a special class of young people – those who are so interested in our American government that they just had to come see it firsthand. So today, the Senate celebrates this outstanding legacy and warmly congratulates Principal Weeden on such a tremendous accomplishment. We thank her for all she has done. And we wish her nothing but happiness in the years that lie ahead.”
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