Green Jackets attend Panola County Day

Panola College Green Jackets pose with the delegation that attended Panola County Day at the State Capitol. Senator Bryan Hughes and Representative Chris Paddie hosted the group.

On Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 18-19, the Panola College Green Jackets and the Panola County Chamber of Commerce traveled to Austin. The purpose of this trip was for members of the community to be present as the representatives and senators recognized February 19 as Panola County Day at the Texas State Capitol.

Panola College Green Jackets were escorted by Reanna Hart, Green Jackets sponsor. The students included Maelbi Calderon, Keath Kibbey, Nathaniel Endsley, Julianne Edge and Sarah Owens.

To kick off the trip the Green Jackets and Chamber of Commerce had a reception and dinner at the Texas Association of Broadcasters Building with Senator Bryan Hughes and Representative Chris Paddie. When dinner was over, they allowed a brief moment for any questions from the people present. After this, the director of the Chamber of Commerce, Tommie Ritter Smith, presented Representative Chris Paddie with a cake to celebrate his birthday.

After celebrating, Panola County’s Senator Hughes took the group on a night tour of the Capitol. In the tour the representatives of the county had a chance to go all the way to the top of the Rotunda. Through the tour Senator Hughes walked the group through the Texas Senate and the desk that he sits at to debate on behalf of his constituents.

The architectural detailing in both the House and the Senate were inspiring During the tour, the delegation members were impressed with the classic architectural details in both the House and Senate chambers. From the balcony, the group took in the view of the Capitol at night. After taking a minute to appreciate the view, they continued to the top of the Capitol. The representatives of the county had the opportunity to view the Star of Texas close up. Then began the long trek back down the stairs to the bottom of the Capitol.

The next day, the Green Jackets and Panola County delegation were escorted to the Senate to observe as the senators conducted many orders of business. As part of the day’s events, the Senate formally announced February 19, 2019 as Panola County Day at the Capitol.

From the Senate, the delegation moved over to the House of Representatives to be present for the same pronouncement of Panola County Day. 

“The trip to Austin with the Green Jackets for Panola County Day was an awesome experience,” said Reanna Hart, Green Jackets sponsor. “This great group of students had the opportunity to interact with members of our community and to meet and visit with Rep. Chris Paddie and Senator Bryan Hughes. It was their first time to visit the Capitol and we all received the unbeatable opportunity of a private tour, thanks to Senator Hughes. The Green Jackets climbed what seemed like a million stairs to the very top of the Capitol dome, and they took plenty of pictures to prove it.

“It was an honor to sit in the sessions of the Senate and House to hear them both pass resolutions declaring it Panola County Day. I am very proud of the way the Green Jackets represented Panola College, and very thankful to Dr. Powell, the Panola County Chamber of Commerce, Sen. Hughes and Rep. Paddie for the opportunity.”