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Daggett serves as Legislative Page

As the legislative session wraps up later this month, one high school senior got to observe how it worked early in the session.

Tea Area senior Benjamin Daggett spent two weeks at the end of January, beginning of February in Pierre serving as a senate page for Sen. Herman Otten. While in Pierre, he lived with a host family and worked on his schoolwork online.

The 2023 session was his second time serving as a page in the state legislature. As a page, he attended committee meetings, ran copies, got coffee, listened to discussions on legislation and attended the senate sessions.

“I feel like last year I learned the building and learned the procedure. This year I got to really enjoy it more than anything,” Daggett said. “A lot that I learned this year was that the legislators are human. When you start talking to them, they have their own experiences. They have a job outside of Pierre. I feel like so often we kind of place them on a pedestal and it’s really that they’re human beings and that their experiences are just like ours. I think that was really cool.”

Daggett has wanted to be a history teacher since his sophomore year. He’s hoping his experience in the legislature will help him with his future students.

“I’ve wanted to be a history teacher for a while going out of high school and so I believed that would be a really good experience to bring back to my future students,” he said.

He plans to go to Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell to double major in history education and criminal justice.

Besides learning about how the legislative process works, he met the pages in the house and got to meet the governor and lieutenant governor.

Daggett would encourage other high school students to apply to be a legislative page because they can meet people from across the state and seeing history come alive.

“It’s history coming right in front of your eyes and I think that’s one of the coolest parts for me is that you’re watching history unfold,” he said.


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