On November 6, the NHHS Student Council volunteered to help work the election polls. These students, even those who weren’t old enough to vote themselves, were able to experience something incredible-- something Mrs. Schlafer has been encouraging them to take part in since they walked into this school as freshmen.
Of those who took part in the recent survey, everyone but one said that they will continue to be actively involved in the political world. The one who didn’t report that they would stay involved said they would try to stay involved in some way.
The students helped to hand out “I voted” stickers, pens, and ballots. Although it may not seem like much, the students are proud of their involvement.
The students weren’t all working at one voting station however. Senior Lexi Oetterer and senior Kamryn Poe were at City Hall. Senior Claire Laune worked in Berger. Junior Lauren Hoerstkamp volunteered at the Assumption Catholic Church with senior Joseph Rethemeyer. The New Haven Fire House is were junior McKenzie Pecaut volunteered.
All of the students can agree that they loved helping people and experiencing the other side of the voting experience; however, there are some other aspects the kids enjoyed.
Joseph Rethemeyer talked about his hour-long lunch break, while Lauren Hoerstkamp said she enjoyed having Joseph with her otherwise “it could have been really, really boring.”
In a recent poll, the teachers at New Haven stressed the importance of voting and being politically active.
History teacher John Tucker said, “It is important because the elected officials and state laws are decided on by voters and can have a major impact on all of us. It is one of our greatest rights because it gives us a voice in the government.”
Later Mr. Tucker added, “The League of Women's voters has a very good website that explains the ballot measures and candidates’ positions. The St. Louis Post Dispatch and Washington Missourian also have resources and voter guides they publish around election time.”
Industrial technology teacher Caleb Gortney stated, “I believe that voting is important because it is the voice and power of the people. Voting is a privilege and gives the people a chance to change things they don't necessarily see fit for our state/country. Politics/Government are very important because it is the basis of our society. Our country is run by the government and it's our job to make sure that the people and the country are in its best interests.”
Mr. Gortney also suggested getting information from both parties while doing your own research.
“Being active in the government is important for many reasons,” Mandy Koch, the foreign language teacher and band director, started. “A few include: exercising your right as an American, understanding how politics relate to you and others outside this country, being able to speak intelligently about our policies and how voting works in general. Being involved in the government is just like being involved in school. It is an opportunity that one should take but it is not something you have to do. And just like at school, if you want to be involved it is your responsibility to make yourself aware of how to do so. Students can talk to people who are involved now and realize that, like how we learn about many things, the internet is always a great tool if you are using reliable sources.”
Science teacher Mike Hagedorn shared that he understands that everyone has a busy schedule and doesn’t always have the time. However, he still encourages everyone to make the time.
Another science teacher Wendy Oelrichs stated that students should, “Take one of Mrs. Schlafer's classes! She does an excellent job of teaching students how to politically educate themselves.”
As you can see, the students are making an effort to be active members of not only our community, but the political world, which couldn’t have made their teachers, families, and community prouder. Keep up the great work, students, and remember to get registered!