Othello student meets governor and receives medal of appreciation from the United States Department of State

‘I know she’ll remember this experience for the rest of her life,’ says Schmick


Katelyn Andrews, her mother, Kim, and grandparents Clyde and Bonnie Andrews stood in hushed silence after being ushered into Gov. Christine Gregoire’s personal office in Olympia.

Amidst commemorative plaques, gifts from foreign governments, personal mementos, and Washington sports teams’ memorabilia, the governor presented Katelyn with the Medal of Appreciation from the United States Department of State.

The Medal of Appreciation is awarded to family members who are separated from a parent serving at an unaccompanied post in the United State Foreign Service.

Katelyn’s father, Curtis Andrews, is serving as a civilian advisor in Ramadi Iraq.  He is helping the Iraqi people establish a new provincial government and leading efforts to create Iraq’s first citizen-based planning process.

Katelyn applied to be a Legislative Page through Rep. Joe Schmick‘s office.  When her father found out that she had been accepted, he began working with Schmick to see if the presentation of the award could coincide with her duties as a Page in Olympia.

Schmick, R-Colfax, worked with the governor’s office to make the special event a reality.

“When the governor recently visited Iraq, one of the people that met her and shook her hand was Katelyn’s father, Curtis,” Schmick said.  “When he contacted my office to see if we could work something out, I knew we had to try and involve the governor.  She saw Katelyn’s father a few months ago and now to have the opportunity to make that connection with his daughter and to honor her for the sacrifices she’s made in his absence — it was a touching moment.

“I want to thank the governor for being such a gracious host to a wonderful event,” Schmick continued.  “She took a few minutes out of her busy schedule to make a lasting impression on one of our young people.”

Katelyn served as a Legislative Page the week of Feb. 16 – 20.  She spent the week attending page school, learning the inner workings of state government and assisting legislators on the House floor.  Pages earn $35 per day while serving in the program.

To become a page, applicants must have a legislative sponsor, be between the ages of 14 and 16, and obtain written permission from their parents and school.

Katelyn said the experience was fun and she has made friends she’ll keep in contact with for a long time.

“It’s good for students to get a firsthand account of what it’s like in the Legislature,” Schmick said.  “They get the  opportunity to see their representative government in action.  Hopefully, the experience allows them to appreciate the liberties and freedoms associated with our form of government.  For Katelyn, I know she’ll remember this experience for the rest of her life.”


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Washington State House Republican Communications