Inauguration Day: West Seattle students watch, discuss history

Thanks to Mark Ahlness for sharing that photo of his Arbor Heights Elementary third-grade class, “spontaneously ris(ing) for the moment. Some raise their hands with their new president, some hold their hands over their hearts.” Hours later, media crews were invited to two other West Seattle elementary schools where students were expecting phone calls from Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson, to talk about her experiences in D.C. at The Big Event. We were at both – first, our video from Clarissa Resendez‘s 5th-grade classroom at Highland Park Elementary:

HP principal Ann Gray was on hand for the event too. Minutes after the HP call ended, Dr. Goodloe-Johnson was on the line in Room 18 at Gatewood Elementary, where Jeffrey Case‘s 4th- and 5th-graders had gathered – this video allows you to listen in on their first four minutes of listening, and talking, to the superintendent:

That’s Gatewood principal Rhonda Claytor at right in this next photo, looking on proudly during the interaction:

Dr. Goodloe-Johnson made both phone calls from the offices of the Council of Great City Schools in D.C.; the council is a coalition of more than 60 big-city school districts from around the U.S. Both classes chosen for today’s chats have been working on relevant study units — Ms. Resendez’s Highland Park students have been “studying the role of the President of the United States,” according to info provided by the district communications team, and Mr. Case’s Gatewood students have been “studying … U.S. history and the civil-rights movement.”

All WSB coverage of the 2009 Inauguration — including pre-inauguration reports from West Seattleites in D.C. — is archived here, newest to oldest.

3 Replies to "Inauguration Day: West Seattle students watch, discuss history"

  • k January 20, 2009 (9:58 pm)

    Go Clarissa!!
    Did you know that she passed National Board Teacher Certification? Congratulations!

  • JH January 21, 2009 (6:56 am)

    I’m so glad my daughter was able to watch it at WSHS in her Language Arts class. I don’t think the school had anything organized, but I would have been very disappointed had she missed it!

  • Victoria January 21, 2009 (3:35 pm)

    I had to opportunity to watch this historical moment with the students of Arbor Heights School. I was proud of the kids-even the kindergarten classes would break into applause and were moved by the importance of this moment in time. Mr. Mark Ahlness did an especially great job teaching and supporting his kids, making this a “teaching moment”. It brought tears to my eyes to see such dedicated teachers, like Mr. Ahlenss, with pride in their eyes and our little future leaders from a little neighborhool school-Arbor Heights-that was recently (hopefully) saved from the “re-purposed” pile from Seattle Public School District. Thanks to everyone who helped save this wonderful school…Yes we can and yes we will continue to make a difference!

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