First steps toward building a strong citizenry - Mid-Pacific Institute

Elementary School Principal's Blog

First steps toward building a strong citizenry

Posted on November 12, 2012

by Dr. Edna Hussey on November 12, 2012

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The excitement was palpable. First and second grade students in Sarah Field's and Donna Revard's classes experienced their first lesson in democratic citizenship by casting their votes for U.S. President. I was invited into their classrooms to cast my vote on a ballot with the images of the candidates for the Democratic and Republican parties and a space to vote for "other." (Students in multiage third and fourth grades and the fifth grade also participated in Kids Voting online via their iPads.) The voting was private, under a covered booth, from which every voter emerged, confident in their candidate. Two students were selected to count the ballots under the scrutiny of election officials, a UH teacher candidate and myself. I could not believe how caught up I became in class voting experience. I held my breath each time a ballot was opened. Pictured here is the tally: R for Romney, O for Obama, and Other. M 1-2F and M 1-2R official results: 21 Romney; 20 Obama, and 2 Other. We thought the children's vote might be a precursor to the way the votes were going to be announced. As CNN provided preliminary voting results nationwide, our students' voting seemed to match the early reports. The rest is history.

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W. emerges from the voting booth, precious ballot in hand!

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I cast my ballot, along with the children, feeling that every vote counts.

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As I observed the students counting up each ballot, I held my breath!

I know all of our parents receive email notifications about my weekly parent letter (blog), their child's classroom teacher's blog, and the specialists' blogs. Please read Shirley Rivera's counseling blog on helping our children build healthy self-esteem. She provides timely suggestions, which every parent should take to heart. Here's an excerpt from her blog:

When self-esteem is high, children are motivated to succeed. However, if self-esteem is contingent on success, children may view failure or criticism as an indictment of their worth and may feel helpless to do better. To avoid fostering the contingent or helpless pattern parents and teachers can give a child specific, focused feedback rather than criticize a child as a person (Burhans & Dweck, 1995).

To read the entire blog, open this link: www.midpac.edu/elementary/counseling

Thank you MPI parents who attended the open sessions with the president finalists and who completed the online survey. We heard three strong candidates explain their professional background and experiences as school leaders, and responded to questions from the audience. Based on extensive background checks, letters of recommendation, three days of interviews with different school constituents, comments received from community members who attended the open session or any of the interview sessions, the Search Committee will be recommending one candidate to the Board of Trustees for their deliberation and approval. My takeaway: It was a very thorough, ethical, professional process led by Board Chair Ken Kupchak. Having completed my part on the Search Committee, I am very proud of Mid-Pacific Institute. I learned again and again during the search process that this truly is a community second to none in many, many ways. Fortunate I am to be part of Mid-Pacific and to serve our students, faculty, and families in my role as principal.

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey