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Country Day runner learning about government

Dennis Roth has learned plenty about the U.S. government through his high school classes, but the La Jolla Country Day senior-to-be is getting a true education in the inner workings of politics this summer.

Roth, also a standout cross country runner and distance runner for the Torreys, is spending most of June serving as a congressional page for the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. During the three-week program, he is working for Duncan D. Hunter, who represents the 52nd district of California.

“I’ve been studying government in school and have found it really interesting,” Roth said.

“It seems a lot easier when you’re reading about it in a textbook. When you’re actually here, it’s really hard to catch on. I still don’t always know what’s going on with the debates on the floor.”

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Roth said he’s not sure whether he wants to get into politics, but was interested enough to apply for the highly competitive program.

He arrived in Washington, D.C., on June 7 and moved into a dormitory that houses the 70 pages, who come from all over the country. The group attends classes from 7:30 to 9 a.m. every day, and then works from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. His duties include delivering orders from the Capitol building to the four main House office buildings and performing other duties to assist members of Congress.

Roth said it has been an eye-opening experience and that he is learning a lot about the political process.

La Jolla Country Day track and cross country coach Scott Sanders wrote a recommendation for Roth’s admittance to the program, and said he was impressed with Roth’s summer plans.

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“He’s a great student, so it doesn’t surprise me that he’d be interested in this on an intellectual level,” Sanders said of Roth, who has helped Country Day to three cross country titles and has qualified for the CIF San Diego Section Finals in track multiple times.