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PCHS students attend inauguration

Exactly one week ago, a group of 65 Pulaski County High School students, along with seven faculty members and two parent chaperones, rose before 5 a.m. in preparation for a day that they will probably remember for the rest of their lives.
Traveling from Pulaski County to Washington D.C., this group braved the cold and crowds to witness the inauguration of America’s 44th president, Barack Obama.
Kimmy Faller, a senior at PCHS, said she felt it was important to take this trip because “history was being made.”
On the day of the inauguration, the temperature in Washington D.C. barely made it into the low 30s, according to Roxanne Thompson, a social studies teacher at PCHS who served as a chaperone and led the organization of this trip.
“It was very cold, but it was worth it,” commented Brian Snider, a junior.
Members of the group said that with thermal layers and packages of Hot Hands abound, they managed to survive the cold while standing in their central location between the Washington Monument and the Capitol building, with a jumbo-tron in plain sight.
Junior Grace Sanders said she did her best to stay warm all morning as they waited for things to get started, but once the ceremony began, the fact that she was cold was the last thing on her mind.
Amanda Dishon, a teacher at PCHS and trip chaperone, added that with such a large crowd, one would expect to have trouble hearing, but when the ceremony began, it was like 2 million people became silent all at once.
Regardless of their political standings, several of the students who attended the inauguration commented that they felt it was inappropriate when people in the crowd “booed” George W. Bush during the ceremony.
“He did serve our country, so you should have respect for him,” said Sara Howlett, a senior.
However, Dishon said that throughout the trip, it was interesting to see how nice everyone was.
“You’d think in big crowds and large cities that you’re going to have a lot of angry people bumping in to one another,” she said. “But everyone seemed understanding and happy.”
Later that night, the group had the opportunity to attend a mock inaugural ball in Springfield, Va..
Thompson said this was a formal event, including dinner and a dance, with approximately 800 people, primarily elementary, middle and high school students, in attendance.
Several PCHS students from the trip commented that their favorite part about the ball was a performance by the Harding University High School Marching Band of Gold from Charlotte, N.C., which had also performed earlier in the day at the inaugural parade.
The students explained that they were exhausted from such a long day of events, but once this marching band came in and performed, it brought them out of their lull.
From the food to the entertainment, Thompson commented that the ball “was the most fun high school-based dance I’d ever seen.”
Regina Lewis, a junior, added that the trip’s chaperones were “really good sports” during the ball and danced along with the students, and that it was fun to see two of PCHS’s administrators who served as chaperones on the trip, Dickie McMillan, assistant principal, and Rod Reedy, principal, get up and dance.
Before Tuesday’s historic events, the trip actually began on Sunday, Jan. 18. With sleet falling on local roads, the students and chaperones boarded a bus in the PCHS parking lot at 6 a.m. and left within the hour, Thompson said.
The group’s first major stop was for a tour of the former home of George Washington, Mount Vernon.
Throughout the rest of their trip, the group toured the Air Force and Iwo Jima memorials, Kennedy Center, Arlington National Cemetery, the Smithsonian American History Museum, the White House, Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, the “Newseum” Museum for American Media, Library of Congress, U.S. Capitol and U.S. Supreme Court, before returning to PCHS on Wednesday, Jan. 21.
Long before the group departed for Washington D.C., the process of planning this trip began.
Thompson said that she and other teachers started talking in August about the possibility of a trip to the inauguration, then contacted parents and students about the trip in September and “got the ball rolling” as far as looking for quotes from tour companies.
The trip ended up costing $650 per student, which Thompson noted was a pretty good deal compared to other prices they had found in their search of tour companies.
“With the economy being so bad, we knew it would be difficult to raise $650 per student,” Dishon said. “But there were some generous people who were willing to help us out and a lot of the kids worked really hard to get donations and fundraise to make it happen. It was great that we could have so many kids go.”
Thompson listed the group’s fundraising events, which included selling S’mores and beads at PCHS football games, selling candles and doughnuts, a book fair at Barnes and Noble, and participating in Belk’s Charity Day Sale.
In addition, donations from the following businesses and individuals helped to make the trip possible: both Food Lion stores in Pulaski, Wade’s, New River Internal Medicine, McDonald’s in Dublin, Snowville Ruritan, Dean’s Body Shop, Poor Boys’ Produce, Pulaski Pawn Shop, Peak Creek Mercantile, Jolene Yonges, Valerie Johnston, Sonny Mabry, Donna Williams and Sherri Bralley.

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PCHS students attend inauguration

Exactly one week ago, a group of 65 Pulaski County High School students, along with seven faculty members and two parent chaperones, rose before 5 a.m. in preparation for a day that they will probably remember for the rest of their lives.
Traveling from Pulaski County to Washington D.C., this group braved the cold and crowds to witness the inauguration of America’s 44th president, Barack Obama.
Kimmy Faller, a senior at PCHS, said she felt it was important to take this trip because “history was being made.”
On the day of the inauguration, the temperature in Washington D.C. barely made it into the low 30s, according to Roxanne Thompson, a social studies teacher at PCHS who served as a chaperone and led the organization of this trip.
“It was very cold, but it was worth it,” commented Brian Snider, a junior.
Members of the group said that with thermal layers and packages of Hot Hands abound, they managed to survive the cold while standing in their central location between the Washington Monument and the Capitol building, with a jumbo-tron in plain sight.
Junior Grace Sanders said she did her best to stay warm all morning as they waited for things to get started, but once the ceremony began, the fact that she was cold was the last thing on her mind.
Amanda Dishon, a teacher at PCHS and trip chaperone, added that with such a large crowd, one would expect to have trouble hearing, but when the ceremony began, it was like 2 million people became silent all at once.
Regardless of their political standings, several of the students who attended the inauguration commented that they felt it was inappropriate when people in the crowd “booed” George W. Bush during the ceremony.
“He did serve our country, so you should have respect for him,” said Sara Howlett, a senior.
However, Dishon said that throughout the trip, it was interesting to see how nice everyone was.
“You’d think in big crowds and large cities that you’re going to have a lot of angry people bumping in to one another,” she said. “But everyone seemed understanding and happy.”
Later that night, the group had the opportunity to attend a mock inaugural ball in Springfield, Va..
Thompson said this was a formal event, including dinner and a dance, with approximately 800 people, primarily elementary, middle and high school students, in attendance.
Several PCHS students from the trip commented that their favorite part about the ball was a performance by the Harding University High School Marching Band of Gold from Charlotte, N.C., which had also performed earlier in the day at the inaugural parade.
The students explained that they were exhausted from such a long day of events, but once this marching band came in and performed, it brought them out of their lull.
From the food to the entertainment, Thompson commented that the ball “was the most fun high school-based dance I’d ever seen.”
Regina Lewis, a junior, added that the trip’s chaperones were “really good sports” during the ball and danced along with the students, and that it was fun to see two of PCHS’s administrators who served as chaperones on the trip, Dickie McMillan, assistant principal, and Rod Reedy, principal, get up and dance.
Before Tuesday’s historic events, the trip actually began on Sunday, Jan. 18. With sleet falling on local roads, the students and chaperones boarded a bus in the PCHS parking lot at 6 a.m. and left within the hour, Thompson said.
The group’s first major stop was for a tour of the former home of George Washington, Mount Vernon.
Throughout the rest of their trip, the group toured the Air Force and Iwo Jima memorials, Kennedy Center, Arlington National Cemetery, the Smithsonian American History Museum, the White House, Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, the “Newseum” Museum for American Media, Library of Congress, U.S. Capitol and U.S. Supreme Court, before returning to PCHS on Wednesday, Jan. 21.
Long before the group departed for Washington D.C., the process of planning this trip began.
Thompson said that she and other teachers started talking in August about the possibility of a trip to the inauguration, then contacted parents and students about the trip in September and “got the ball rolling” as far as looking for quotes from tour companies.
The trip ended up costing $650 per student, which Thompson noted was a pretty good deal compared to other prices they had found in their search of tour companies.
“With the economy being so bad, we knew it would be difficult to raise $650 per student,” Dishon said. “But there were some generous people who were willing to help us out and a lot of the kids worked really hard to get donations and fundraise to make it happen. It was great that we could have so many kids go.”
Thompson listed the group’s fundraising events, which included selling S’mores and beads at PCHS football games, selling candles and doughnuts, a book fair at Barnes and Noble, and participating in Belk’s Charity Day Sale.
In addition, donations from the following businesses and individuals helped to make the trip possible: both Food Lion stores in Pulaski, Wade’s, New River Internal Medicine, McDonald’s in Dublin, Snowville Ruritan, Dean’s Body Shop, Poor Boys’ Produce, Pulaski Pawn Shop, Peak Creek Mercantile, Jolene Yonges, Valerie Johnston, Sonny Mabry, Donna Williams and Sherri Bralley.

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