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Wayne Post
  • Students make memories made at Obama Inauguration

  • It’s been more than a month since 48 Newark Middle School seventh and eighth grade pupils attended the second inauguration of President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C. Jan. 21.

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  • It’s been more than a month since 48 Newark Middle School seventh and eighth grade pupils attended the second inauguration of President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C. Jan. 21.
    But if the individual projects they developed about their three-day adventure in the nation’s capital, for an evening event Feb. 12 are any indication, the memories these students hold won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
    Besides attending and enjoying the inaugural swearing-in ceremony, the trip also included: Dinner at Union Station; touring the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; visiting the Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Martin Luther King Jr., Vietnam Veterans, Korean War, Iwo Jima (aka the U.S. Marine Corps) and World War II memorials; touring George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Museum and the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum;  and a dinner cruise and mock inaugural ball aboard the Spirit of Washington on the Potomac River.
    Students attending the trip, coordinated by NMS seventh and eighth grade social studies teacher Matthew Klemann and seventh grade social studies teacher Lisa Eakins, were:
    Seventh grade: Lilly Bornheimer, Gregory Bremer, Ben Cowles, Trinity Hernandez, Annie Howell, Grace Kreuser, Jordynn Loveless, Jasmine Luong, Shauntel Luther, Hannah Mateo, Logan Moynihan, Alexia Roden, Sydney Salone, Emily Schultz, Emma Semmler, Audrey Smith, Maddy Thorner, Lindsay Whiting.
    Eighth grade: Kat Barrett, Nate Beard, Jillian Blodgett, Forrest Blondell, Jacob Boughton, Evelyn Childs, Jackson Correia, Brandon Custer, Tiffany Gilligan, Ali House, Amanda Hutterman, Emily Johnson, Shaniah Jones, Luke Kornbau, Ca’Sondra LaFrance, Jacob Lindberg, Noelle Lyman, Ian MacTaggart, Kayla Marker, Rachael Michaels, Alivia Moore, Kira Murray, Aleah Norsen, Julianna Otero, Sierra Pleckan, Diana Rivera, Alexis Rowe, Katie Thoms and Ryan Velte.
    Here are some of their reactions:
    Gilligan: “It was a great experience standing on the National Mall witnessing the inauguration.  I can now tell my kids when I get older that I was at the 57th presidential inauguration!”
    She also said the Holocaust Museum was amazing and very thought provoking!
    Velte: “It was so exciting because it was my first time going to Washington, D.C.”
    Semmler: “I was very moved by the Holocaust Museum and can better understand how grateful I should be!”
    Michaels: “I learned all about the memorials and what they stood for!”
    Kreuser: “It all was amazing. I went to things that I thought I wouldn't be interested in, but I left wanting to know more!”
    Otero: “It was fun. A good experience. Hearing Obama speak was the best part.”
    Trinity Hernandez: “I’ve read a whole bunch of stuff about Martin Luther King so I really liked the plaque at the Lincoln Memorial where he stood and gave the ‘I Have A Dream’ speech.”
    Howell and Pleckan:  Both said the inauguration was special to them because it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
    Page 2 of 2 - Rivera and Hutterman: Each said the inauguration was special because they were actually a part of history!
    Students were selected for the trip based on applications they filled out over a year ago and interviews.
    “There was no better classroom for our kids on Inauguration Day than the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to be a living part of history in the making!,” Klemann said. “All of the chaperones were honored and happy to be able to provide this opportunity to our kids. It was absolutely amazing to feel the vibrancy and excitement of the crowd!  Some of the kids were a little apprehensive about riding on the subway at first, but after getting on, they remarked how much they enjoyed the fun of it and how it wasn't really all that scary.
    “The kids were awesome on the trip and we were extremely impressed with how engaged they were in learning as much as they could from each of our destinations,” he continued. ”We couldn't be more proud of how well they represented their families, community, and Newark Middle School!”
    Eakins agreed. Despite the waiting in the cold for the inauguration, she said “the kids did a great job!”
    “I think they really understood the historic nature of what they were witnessing,” she continued.
    Other teacher chaperones from NMS who went on the trip included: sixth grade social studies and math teacher Jason Dentel, special education teachers Sean Dallos, Rebecca Moon and ELA teacher Mary Thoms.
    Dentel came up with the idea of having all the students wear bright neon yellow hats during the trip.
    “It really helped us to spot our group wherever we were,” Klemann said. “ A lot of other people in the crowd near us used our hats and group as a marker to remember where they were standing.”
    Klemann said the majority of the projects about the trip students made for the Feb. 12 event were great and demonstrated how much they got out of the experience.

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