While most other children in her fourth-grade class spent Tuesday evening preparing for the first day of school, Adrienne Parker was busy running a city council meeting.
The 9-year-old sat next to Mayor Jeri Anderson and presided over the Neligh City Council as her final duty as "Mayor For A Day."
Sitting tall in her chair, Adrienne showed no fear as she followed Anderson's instructions on when to ask for a motion and a second. Just a few items into the agenda, Adrienne was confidently instructing City Clerk Dana Klabenes for the roll call vote without any prodding from Anderson.
"Roll call, please," Adrienne said, as if she'd been practicing all day.
But she hadn't.
While her confidence beamed in front of the four council members, Adrienne - daughter of Daniel and Nicole Parker of Neligh - said earlier in the day that she wasn't sure what to expect at the meeting. She certainly wasn't expecting to receive a street sign with "Parker Ave." on it and grinned ear to ear when she received it.
Anderson said the sign will be placed in front of Neligh-Oakdale Schools and later be given to her family.
While serving as mayor seems to suit Adrienne, she now has bigger aspirations.
“I’m going for something higher - president,” she said.
Adrienne was selected as "Mayor For A Day" in May. The program is a cooperative effort between the Neligh-Oakdale Board of Education and the City of Neligh to encourage students to become involved in civic leadership and opportunities.
Her "term" as mayor included spending time with city officials, participating in the Old Mill Days grand parade and now, on Tuesday night, presiding over a city council meeting.
At the end of June, Adrienne spent a day with Anderson and City Superintendent Dean Bly. Among the stops on her tour were the generation plant, lift station, sewer plant, wells, compactor, recycling center and lift station.
“It was really cool,” Adrienne said. “I like that I got to be very important people.”
The best part of the tour, she said, was getting to explain what she saw to others, including her parents.
“It was really neat that they showed her how the city works, and she taught me about things I didn’t even know,” Nicole Parker said. “It’s great for her to get this perspective and has been a really good experience for her.”
Adrienne was most impressed by Neligh’s generation station. Between it’s size and “lots of buttons,” the facility left her intrigued, which is to be expected for someone who says science is her favorite subject.
Actually, in her application for mayor Adrienne said she wanted to host a science fair and a teacher appreciation if she became mayor. Now that she has held the title, Adrienne said she still wants those things.
“I love science and I love my teachers,” she said. “They’re very encouraging of me.”
Adrienne will be in Rick Eickholt’s fourth-grade class as of Wednesday. She was taught by Sharon Kinnan last year in third grade. Adrienne was the second third-grader in three years to be selected as "Mayor For A Day."
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Neligh, NE 68756