by Courtney Han & Izzy Smelkinson
With a presidential election happening every four years, many teachers jump at the chance to cover the quad-annual event in classes.
Over the past two months, many teachers in both WHS and the middle schools have been talking about the debates, politics and structure of the government in preparation for the election that occurred on Nov. 6.
Despite the storms which prevented school from being in session directly before the election, students throughout the district were engaged in and prepared for many political activities, events and lessons. According to RIS Principal Mr. Stewart Carey, all RIS students were involved in creating a mock election that was supposed to be held on Nov. 1. “[Students] across all grade levels are discussing the issues, watching the four debates, comparing marketing strategies, and developing their own [campaign] commercials,” said Carey.
Students at EIS would also have participated in a mock election on Nov. 1. According to History Teacher Mr. Matthew Varhley, in order to vote, students must fill out an EIS voter registration form. Each student is assigned to a poll location based on their last name, and students must set aside their own time to vote.
A mock election was also scheduled for Oct. 29 at WHS, but had to be cancelled due to weather issues.
In addition to the many mock elections that were to be held throughout the district, many WHS teachers have a politics-based curriculum.
Said Issues Teacher Mr. Thomas Hornish: “My class just finished looking at our political tradition and focused on the current issues of liberalism and conservatism in the United States. We reviewed the origins of both ideological camps and how these ideals are exemplified in the Presidential Platforms for both parties. As we go through the term we discuss current issues and quite naturally will focus on the importance of ‘battleground states’ and ‘the electoral college.’”
In AP Language courses taught by English Teachers Ms. Marie Percopo and Ms. Kim Gosen-Fowler, students analyzed the political debates for rhetorical techniques and discussed the language choices candidates used, according to Gosen-Fowler. She added, “We also [watched] the concession and acceptance speeches to analyze both candidates’ language.”
Underclassmen have been considering political subjects in their classes as well. According to History Teacher Ms. Karen Stark, her tenth grade honors class studied the writing of the Constitution and “how those decisions made in 1787 continue to reverberate in the modern climate. They have been able to see how many of the debates over the economy and class operated in the 18th century as well as the 21st.”