New Lawmaker Looks to Mentors To Succeed In Statehouse Assignment

By Jeff Neumeyer

January 7, 2013 Updated Jan 7, 2013 at 9:57 PM EDT

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) --- The tried and true alongside the fresh and new.

At the beginning of the 2013 Indiana legislative session, you can find two area lawmakers who couldn't be more different when it comes to on-the-job experience.

The Statehouse is David Ober's new home away from home.

Following his November election victory, the 25-year old from Albion assumed the title of the youngest member of the House of Representatives.

On Monday, day one of the new session, he filed three bills, including one that would allow high performing public schools to choose the option of making the school day longer, and in exchange, could cut back on the length of the school year.

He believes it could motivate teachers and students to step it up in the classroom.

" But I also think it rewards folks who are currently at that level and may want to model off of schools in China, in Finland, and some of these other areas where we are competing heavily in the global market," said Ober.

First day, any jitters?

" Being the new guy, it's certainly a little bit of anxiety, but I'm just ready to get started. I've been ready since the campaign ended."

While Ober is looking to learn the ropes, Representative Phyllis Pond from our area is in a completely different situation.

She's the longest serving Republican in the House.

" The best advice is to listen more than you speak. Consider yourself an employee of the people who sent you down here," said Pond, from New Haven, who was first elected to the House in 1978.

For the first 20 years, she split time between the legislature and teaching kindergarten.

She said it was good training for her part-time political job.

" Because you have to be patient, you've got to listen. I don't have to tie their shoes here, but I do have to be patient."

When Pond started, she sat in the middle seat in the last row.

Now, she's moved up to the front row.

Will Ober have a similar journey?

Only time will tell.




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