ShareThis Page
Kiski Area High School wins award for registering students to vote | TribLIVE.com
Westmoreland

Kiski Area High School wins award for registering students to vote

Mary Ann Thomas
1121682_web1_WEB-KiskiAreaHighSchool02

Kiski Area High School is among six high schools in southwestern Pennsylvania receiving a Governor’s Civic Engagement Award for registering at least 65% of its students to vote, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State.

Only two schools — Kiski Area and Purchase Line Junior/Senior High School in Indiana County — received Gold Level awards for registering at least 85% of students. They received their awards Tuesday at the University of Pittsburgh.

Four schools received Silver Level awards for registering at least 65% of their eligible students: Albert Gallatin Area High School in Fayette County, Canon-McMillan and Trinity high schools in Washington County and South Fayette High School in Allegheny County.

In addition, six students — four from Kiski Area and one each from Canon-McMillan and Trinity — received individual awards for registering their peers and also serving as poll workers for the November election.

The Kiski Area students honored, all seniors, were Jared Custer, Haley Custer, Sara Lyons and Shelby Glentzer.

“This really is a credit to our high school Social Studies Department and department Chair Dave Williamson for teaching the importance of civic responsibility and democratic participation,” said Timothy Scott, Kiski Area School District superintendent. “They are to be commended for turning lessons in the classroom into a call to action.”

Williamson said the biggest hurdle in persuading Kiski Area students to register to vote was “getting over the stigma of politics.”

Given the polarized, over-the-top rhetoric of the political parties these days, students weren’t eager to walk into that, he said.

“We kept it totally nonpartisan and helped them though the registration process,” he said.

Williamson and James McKenzie, another Kiski Area social studies teacher, guided their students to use targeted and persuasive methods — in the form of doughnuts and brownies — to lure their potential voters.

First, they found out which student would be eligible to vote in the May 21 primary. Then students called each potential voting student and pitched the importance of voting and voter registration.

“It was students helping other students to register to vote,” Williamson said.

The Governor’s Civic Engagement Award program encourages eligible Pennsylvania high school students to participate in elections as voter registration drive organizers, voters and poll workers.

This year 23 high schools around the state earned awards through the program and eight students won individual awards.

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-226-4691, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Westmoreland
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.