Decision 2012: Mock election energizes Fairview students
By Matthew Stewart | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Few elections offer voters the same raw excitement and energy as Fairview Elementary School’s recent election.
The Blount County Election Commission administered the Oct. 1 school election that lasted about two hours. Students used electronic voting machines to choose their favorite cafeteria food, color, pet, president, sport and subject.
Officials revealed the results last week. Students selected:
• Pizza as their favorite cafeteria food;
• Blue as their favorite color;
• Horses as their favorite pets;
• George Washington as their favorite president;
• Football as their favorite sport;
• And math as their favorite subject.
Blount County school board member Jim Compton later spoke with students. He worked 28 years at Fairview Elementary School, teaching fifth- through eighth-grade before his retirement in 2003.
The board member stressed the importance of voting in his speech. He also asked the elementary-schoolers to see if their family members planned to vote in the Nov. 6 election.
Compton further discussed the military’s role in preserving freedom. “We owe a great deal to the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.”
The retired educator is a Vietnam veteran who was honorably discharged as a specialist. He served from 1968-69 in the U.S. Army.
Compton said he was honored to speak with Fairview’s students. “All I’ll ever be is an old elementary school teacher. I enjoy teaching so much, and I love spreading the word about our school system. We have a wonderful school system. However, we can make it better.”
Educators were pleased with the mock election.
“Our students got the point,” said fifth grade teacher Jeff Wilson. “Our kids want to encourage their parents to vote, and they want to have their own opportunities to vote in the future.”
Many students were also caught up by Compton’s presentation. “A lot of students were talking about Mr. Compton taking his children to vote with him. They haven’t had those opportunities, and they were energized at the thought of voting with their parents. They want to get involved and participate in the political process. They want to be good citizens.”