Beverly Elementary School students take to the polls

The Inter-Mountain photo by Brooke Binns Kara Parrack, school counselor at Beverly Elementary School, assists Reese Markley, a fourth-grader, as she enters the polling booth during the school’s student council elections.

BEVERLY –Young leaders at a local elementary school hope to create a positive impact on their classmates, school and community throughout this school year.

Ten students at Beverly Elementary School were selected by their peers to lead and represent their Wildcat community.

Kara Parrack, school counselor at Beverly Elementary, said the school hosts student council elections annually, but this year teachers and staff hoped to make the process not only a learning experience but also memorable and unique.

“Every year our students are excited to get involved in student council elections, but this year I hoped to offer them an experience where they could truly learn about the real-life voting process,” she said.

Parrack said the school worked with county officials to bring a voting booth to the school for students to vote in confidence. In addition, Martha Hart, a poll worker in the Beverly district, enjoyed helping children “check in” at their polling place.

“As we were thinking about the voting process, we wanted to make sure each step was accounted for including being involved in campaigning voter registration cards and signing the precinct book,” Parrack said.

Third-graders Dyer Barger and Luke Bennett said they had fun and learned the importance of the voting process.

“I learned that you have to go into a booth and no one is allowed to see who you are voting for,” Barger said.

Bennett echoed Barger, adding he learned that you should not tell anyone who you are voting for.

“You can’t tell anybody who you’re going to vote for,” he said. “You have to sign in before you can vote.”

“You have to have a voter ID card or you won’t be allowed to vote,” Barger added.

All students who were interested in running for office were required to complete paperwork similar to candidates running for election in the state of West Virginia. Furthermore, students presented candidate speeches to their peers and created campaign posters while upholding the values of the “Wildcat Party.”

“Each candidate ran under the ‘Wildcat Party’ which upholds the ‘PAWS’ of Beverly School that include pride, attitude, wise choices and safety,” Parrack said. “We began our guidance lessons on citizenship, so I wanted to stress the importance of citizenship prior to the election and also felt that to be a good Beverly School citizen, you must uphold the ‘PAWS’ and expectations of the school.”

Kinsey Merritt, a third grader, decided to run for office because she hoped to encourage her classmates to try something new.

“I like helping people and I like to do different activities and learn new things, so I want to show other kids they can try new things, too, “ Merritt said.

During the 2018-19 school year, Raelyn Robinson and Karsyn Johnson will be acting as the third-grade representatives; Rhett DeWitt and Ziah George will represent the fourth grade; Jaden Workman, Jasmin Workman, Aubrie Evans and Blake Rowan will be representing the fifth grade; and Hayden Taylor and Jaylea Herron will be acting as special committee members.