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Valley teen working as page for Sen. Harry Reid

Keeley Quinlan. (Bob McClay/KTAR)

QUEEN CREEK, Ariz. -- A 16-year-old Queen Creek girl is about place herself in the middle of the national political scene.

Higley High School junior Keeley Quinlan is one of 30 people nationwide who have been chosen to work as a Senate page for the next five months in Washington, D.C. Keeley applied to be a page in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's office after she discovered that neither of Arizona's two senators are currently participating in the page program.

Reid chose Quinlan to work in his office. She believes a few things made her stand out.

"With my school, I do a lot of leadership programs and skills," she said. "I was part of a safety initiative where we tried to reach out to community members and tried to make everyone a safe driver. I think that really stuck out."

Working as a page will keep Quinlan busy.

"We carry legislation," she said. "We deliver bills, answer phone calls, and make sure the Senate chamber is prepared every morning."

Quinlan, who is considering a career in journalism, thinks she'll learn a lot over the next five months.

"I hope to gain exposure and experience," she said. "You're around a lot of prominent people. You're around government jobs, so I get to see what happens and how our democratic society works."

Quinlan was inspired to apply for the Senate page program by her brother Riley, who served as a page in the U.S. House.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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