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Parkway Students, Teachers Headed to D.C. for Presidential Inauguration

The group of 84 piled into two buses Friday night and have time to explore the Capitol's landmarks and museums before Monday's swearing-in ceremony.

A group of Parkway high school students left for Washington, D.C., Friday evening for President Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony Monday.

The group is comprised of 84 students from all five high schools and 14 teacher and administrators. Social Studies Coordinator Toby McQuerrey is helping organizing the trip and said it represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“It's really a capstone experience for our students who have been studying American history and government since first grade,” said McQuerrey. “[The inauguration of a U.S. President] is significant to the whole world.”

By driving through the night on Friday, the students and staff will have time to visit some of the landmarks and museums in the capital on Saturday and Sunday. The swearing-in ceremony itself is set for Monday on the steps of the United States Capitol building and the public is expected to gather on the National Mall.

The mix of students will include supporters of both President Obama and his former opponent, Republican Gov. Mitt Romney. In fact, McQuerrey explained that the students had to sign up for the trip in the spring, long before the presidential race was decided.

In McQuerrey’s opinion, the value of the trip isn’t attached to a particular set of politics.  Instead, it’s about being part of such a large crowd with the same energy and purpose. He likened it to attending a huge concert.

“The purpose is to give these students an experience that they feel, because I think that’s the kind of memory that lasts,” he said.

The entire crew will pack up again on Tuesday morning and drive all day, then it’s back to the classroom for teachers and students on Wednesday.

Check back with Patch for interviews with students about their experiences at the inauguration next week. 

Nancy January 19, 2013 at 03:20 PM
Well isn't that special. Parkway has cut their budget, raised admininstrative salaries, yet they still have the $$$ to send 84 teachers, administrators, and students to DC for an inauguration? Hmmmm....wonder where that money's coming from? Perhaps the taxpayers pocket?
al January 20, 2013 at 11:47 PM
Thank God it did not take a bond issue or hiring more administrators to do this!
Mike K January 21, 2013 at 02:12 PM
I am pretty sure that the district didn't pick up the tab, except for possibly the teachers and administrators salary and travel. What I wonder is does it really require 14 staff for 84 kids? That is a 6-to-1 ratio. A great opportunity for the kids to see real government in person, up close with only five other kids vying for the teacher's attention. Too bad more kids couldn't afford it. 14 might be the minimum for 5 schools (2 per), a nurse, a social studies director, and travel coordinator. Too bad they couldn't coordinate a DC trip as well. My own trip to DC in high school was a highlight and a great educational experience.
Mike K January 21, 2013 at 02:20 PM
My comment about not doing a DC trip was more on a week-long trip. One day is not nearly enough to see even the highlights - tour the White House, Congress, Supreme Court, the Mall, the Memorials, the Smithsonian, the Federal Reserve, and the Library of Congress, see the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. And a visit with our congresscritters.

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