U.S. Rep. Tom Reed is accustomed to facing a room full of constituents who want to hear about the work he’s involved in, but the questions and comments that came from the group he faced in Dundee Feb. 2 were not typical.

Reed spent some of his Friday afternoon with Dundee High School students, sharing details about serving as the 23rd Congressional District representative.

His visit was the result of an email sent by Dundee senior Wylie Hall, who invited Reed to meet with the Government class. Dundee teacher Adam Farrell worked with Reed’s office to arrange the visit, which ended up being a surprise to Hall and the other Dundee students.

“I was surprised. I knew it was going to be a politician, but I didn’t think it was going to be him,” said Hall after the government class and members of the student government met with Reed.

Reed answered basic questions about his education and experience, and what it’s like to serve the 23rd district. He encouraged the students to find ways to participate in government. “Get engaged. Get informed. Get involved,” he told the students, later adding they should never underestimate their own abilities.

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He told the students any one of them could be elected to represent the district, explaining his own background, as the youngest of 12 children brought up by his widowed mother.

“If I can serve in this position, anyone in this room can serve in this position,” he said, describing how his career path led him to Congress. “Politics kind of happened along the way,” he said.

Reed said the best part of his job is meeting all the different people in the district, which includes about 717,000 people in 11 counties, and to address a variety of issues. Helping constituents with problems is one of the most rewarding parts of his job, Reed told the youngsters.

Reed handed each student a copy of the U.S. Constitution and led a discussion about it and the amendments, and spent most of the session talking about his job, the importance of his staff, what his schedule and a typical day is like, and how he makes decisions about what positions to take on issues. But he also talked some about current issues. He said he was in favor of Net Neutrality, but explained he prefers to see consumers have the final say about services.

Since the news of the day centered on President Donald Trump declassifying the memorandum from House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R), Reed addressed the question of the federal surveillance and national security. As co-chair of the bi-partisan Problem Solvers caucus, Reed declined to take a position on the memo without a vote of 75 percent of the group, but he said he supports transparency. He said the Democratic memo is going through the declassification process, and should also be released.