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Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Lancaster High School Students Stroll to the Polls During Early Voting
Lancaster, Texas/Lancaster ISD
On April 28, 83 students from Lancaster High School participated in the Stroll to the Polls event generally held during the Early Voting week of an election cycle. The students, along with campus and district administrators, walked from the high school campus to the Lancaster Veterans Memorial Library to cast their vote in the 2015 Dallas County Joint Election.
Some of the students were first-time voters and were excited to learn that they had a voice in the governmental affairs in their community.
“I felt like my opinion matters and that my vote will make a difference,” Arielle Carter, an LHS senior, said. “This event gives students the opportunity to vote and understand why it is important to vote.”
LHS Associate Principal for the Seniors Addison Russ felt this event was impactful to the students in numerous ways and that it reinforces the school character program known in Lancaster as the Tiger Way.
“We talk about living the Tiger Way — citizenship, responsibility, perseverance — and this event allowed the students to put these character traits into practice.”
Russ also stated that through this field trip, the students experienced the concepts and topics that they have discussed throughout the years in their social studies, government and economics classes.
Lancaster ISD Director of Parent and Student Engagement Dr. Lisa Bacon, one of the event organizers, assisted the campus with getting students registered to vote.
“This event actually began in 2012 and has grown each year,” she said. “Outside of their classroom learning, the students hear from a government official who explains the voting process prior to the actual Stroll to the Polls date.”
This year, the students heard from Dallas County Judge Valencia Nash during a student assembly to gain an understanding of the power of the voter’s voice. Later, the government teachers called an assembly to explain voting ballots and the voting process.
Bacon continued, “This initiative is vital because it gives students knowledge about their right to vote and what their ancestors went through to give them that right,” she said. “It also gives leaders a chance to reach out and connect to students and allow them to understand how to make a difference in this world.”
For Russ, this was a very proud moment to see so many students taking advantage of this opportunity to participate in the election process.
“Some of these students have been in my care since I was a middle school principal, and to see them grow up and take this big step toward being a productive citizen in society… I was so, so proud,” he said. “It is my hope that this experience is engrained in them and that they continue this practice to let their voices be heard.”
The Lancaster Public Schools serve more than 7,000 pre-kindergarten through grade 12 students in 11 schools. The mission of the Lancaster Independent School District, a leader in providing innovative, quality programs, is to educate every student with the knowledge; skills; and principles to succeed and contribute in a competitive and technologically advancing world by providing rigorous and engaging learning opportunities that promote diversity; create an environment of integrity and respect; and establish a commitment to continued improvement in partnership with families and community.
422 S. Centre Ave. Lancaster, TX 75146 ~ 972.218.1400 ~ www.LancasterISD.org