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FHS students to witness history

Forty-four Farragut High School students will witness history Jan. 20, when they head to Washington D.C. to watch the first African-American president of the United States, Barack Obama, be sworn into office.

FHS history teacher Melissa Glover said, “We started planning this in April because we knew however the election went it was going to be historic.”

Four of the students going on the trip met with farragutpress to talk about what they hope to gain from the experience.

All four were in agreement that attending the inauguration is a chance to see history in the making.

Max Waible said, “It is a once in a lifetime thing. It is such an historical election, the first [African-American] president and I think it would be way cool to be able to say you were there.”

Renee Slawsky, who has political aspirations herself said, “When my grandchildren are learning about Barack Obama being the first African-American president I want to be able to say that I was at his inauguration.”

The students think it is quite prolific the inauguration is being held on Martin Luther King Day.

Hari Ganesan said, “50 years ago nobody would have thought of this. African Americans were still trying to fight for their civil rights. It has progressed so far and to think in the future it will be so much better … .”

Mallory Heinzen is grateful FHS is offering her this opportunity.

“I don’t know anybody else from any other school who has this opportunity.” She said.

Glover credits the caliber of students at FHS for being able to take the trip.

“What is so great about all the students who are going is that they are not just going to get out of class.

“That is why we are so lucky, as teachers, to have students who are willing to give up five days and miss school and miss a long weekend to go with some history teachers and go look at monuments and museums and not just be there, but really enjoy it,” she added.

The students will leave FHS Friday, Jan. 16, and return Tuesday, Jan. 20, after the inauguration.

Chelsey Jacobs, another of the FHS history teachers going on the trip, said, “A lot of them have not been to D-C. So it is a good opportunity not only to see an inauguration but to get to see all the history. We are going to Annapolis, [Md.] so Admiral [David Glasgow] Farragut obviously has big standings there and we will see a lot of stuff having to do with him.”

“We are going to Arlington and Mount Vernon and all the monuments and museums. It is going to be a fun and very busy [trip],” Glover added.

Regardless of all the planning that has gone into the trip, they may still hit one major snag … tickets.

“We won’t actually know whether or not we will have tickets until the week before the inauguration,” Glover said.

Tickets are given to elected officials only, who decide to whom they will be distributed.

“We started contacting our congressman last spring and according to Congressman [John J. “Jimmy”] Duncan [Jr.’s] office, we are are first on the list,” Glover said.

“But now that everyone wants to go to the inauguration we are afraid that because we are not contributors to the campaigns we might not be as likely to get tickets,” she added.

They hope that since they are students and it would be such a good learning opportunity, Duncan’s office will award them tickets.

The idea they might not have tickets has not dampened the enthusiasm for the trip.

“There are plenty of areas roped off for people who do not have tickets,” Jacobs said.

“Even if we are not right there in the front we are still going to be experiencing the atmosphere of democracy,” Glover added.


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