AHS students study inaugural process


Allentown High School made the inauguration of Barack Obama an integral part of the school day Jan. 20.

All students had the opportunity to watch the conferral of the oath of office on the new president and vice president, as well as Obama’s inaugural speech, according to Principal Chris Nagy.

“The students were generally interested in the process and were particularly glued to the TV monitors during the Oath of Office and inaugural speech,” Nagy said. “There was an air of excitement and attention to some of the details related to the ceremony itself.”

The administration provided staff with materials and Web links to use in their classes, particularly in social studies classes, as a springboard for discussion about the event. Furthermore, key parts of the inaugural process were taped for staff to use as a teaching tool in the future. Nagy also said staff were provided access to Channel One programming and follow-up segments to use in their classrooms.

“Before the school day started, in my morning announcement to the staff and students, I reminded the students of the historical significance of this day, the inauguration of the 44th president of the USA and first African-American president,” Nagy said.

Superintendent of Schools Dick Fitzpatrick said the students were excited that they were able to witness the exchange of power from one party to another and from one president to the next “conducted with respect, order and a spirit of promise for the future.”

“Our students watched the inauguration today and truly felt uplifted with the spirit of hope and optimism that prevailed,” Fitzpatrick said.

As a result of watching the inaugural address, Nagy said high school students gained a better understanding that there are many current national and world problems and that sacrifices and commitments to helping others are being asked of all citizens.

“President Obama made it clear that he will expect more from the education process to prepare young people to not only be productive citizens, but to instill in our youth that with hard work anyone can accomplish their respective dreams,” Nagy said.

Nagy said he expects Obama will review and revise the current expectations for the No Child Left Behind Act to make them more realistic.

“With President Obama, today begins a new era and the train that we are on has already left the station, but whose destination is yet to be defined,” Nagy said.