Civics Day 2017

9:00am Guest Reception/Breakfast - Guidance waiting area


9:15am  Class of 2018 called to Auditorium


9: 25am  Keynote Speaker - Education Secretary Jim Peyser  

  • How do you define civics/civic responsibility and why do you think it is so important for kids to get involved?

  • Why has civics become so important to the Department of Education that a mandate may be issued to schools to incorporate it into their curriculum?


9:40am  Q & A for Secretary Peyser


9:45am  Interactive Senior Survey Question #1

Civic responsibility means to me:

  1. I am not sure what civic responsibility means.

  2. Registering to and voting

  3. Being aware of current political issues

  4. Being active within the community

  5. Getting involved in extra curricula activities


9:50am Introduction of Discussion Panelists

9:55am First Panel Discussion

As a follow up to Secretary Peyser’s comments,  in your professional experiences, how does civic responsibility benefit society?


10:15am Survey Questions #2 and #3

Political opinions:

I think I am a

  1. Republican

  2. Democrat

  3. Libertarian

  4. Independent

  5. I am not sure

How have I formed my political opinions:

  1. Social Media

  2. Television and Radio(NPR)

  3. Parents

  4. Friends

  5. I don’t have many political opinions yet


10:20am Second Panel Discussion

How can students go about developing their own political opinions?


10:40am Q & A

10:50am End of Program



Guests Biographies


Mr. Wade Blackman


Wade Blackman is the district counsel for Congresswoman Katherine Clark.  In this role, Wade provides counsel on all transportation and environmental projects and policy.  Additionally he serves as the senior liaison for the MetroWest communities within the district and the primary contact for the MetroWest district office in Framingham.  Prior to working for the Congresswoman, Wade worked on many campaigns, including Ed Markey for Senate, and as an attorney in private practice for several years.  Wade is a proud alum of City Year Boston, Northeastern University and Suffolk Law School.
Wade is a Natick resident and has served on the Natick Service Council Board since 2015, and remains an active volunteer with several different organizations including Voices Against Violence, The Nan Project and CFES.



Mr. Jeff Ritter


Jeff Ritter is currently the Holliston Town Administrator since July of 2015. Prior to that Jeff was the Town Administrator for Rehoboth (2011-2015) and the interim Chief Executive Officer for the towns of Ayer, Bridgewater, and Groton (2006-2010). Jeff has his bachelor's in history from American University and Masters of Arts and Public Administration from Framingham State University where he currently serves as president of the alumni board of directors. Jeff currently is a resident of Medway.




Honorable Judge David Cunis


Judge David Cunis was appointed as a judge in the District Court in 2006 by Gov. Mitt Romney, and in 2014 was appointed as First Justice of the Framingham and Natick District Courts by Chief Justice Paul Dawley.  Prior to his judicial appointment, he practiced law for 16 years, including 14 years with the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office.  As an assistant district attorney, he prosecuted criminal cases in the District and Superior Courts, as well as in the Appeals Court and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.  He has lived in Holliston for 20 years.  He is married and the father of two sons, the oldest of whom is a 3rd grader at the Miller School.  He is a graduate of Boston College and the Catholic University of America School of Law.




Mike Brodo


Mike Brodo is a young political and social activist from Holliston, MA. He is a senior at Xaverian Brothers High School where he founded a political club to educate and discuss political ideas so that young people could become more politically aware and involved. He has volunteered on multiple campaign, including Marco Rubio’s primary campaign, federal general election campaigns, and a variety of statewide ballot question and local campaigns. He attended the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, the 58th Presidential Inauguration, and now currently serves as the state chairman of the Teenage Republicans of Massachusetts where he has become increasingly involved with legislative action.

At Xaverian, Mike is a student government leader, member of the varsity football team, and the Community Outreach Director for Young Men 4 Change, a group dedicated to educating young men about domestic violence. Mike enjoys volunteering on mission trips, having traveled twice to Mississippi and most recently to San Diego and Tecate, Mexico where he explored life on the border. Mike plans to major in International Relations in college.


Representative Carolyn Dykema


Elected to the House of Representatives in the fall of 2008, Carolyn Dykema represents the 8th Middlesex District which includes the towns of Holliston, Hopkinton, Southborough and Westborough. Prior to entering the legislature, Representative Dykema worked professionally in the fields of financial services and environmental consulting. Since 1999 she has served on several local boards and committees. Since joining the legislature, Rep. Dykema has worked tirelessly to support the communities she represents, focusing on issues relating to veterans, juvenile justice reform, and the environment, particularly water infrastructure.
She currently serves on House Committee on Ways and Means, Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture, Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities, Joint Committee on Housing.

Rep. Dykema is a graduate of Wellesley College and holds an MBA from Indiana University. She lives in Holliston with her husband Bill and their three children David, Julia and Andrew.