Head of School Frank Steel and freshmen students cast their votes for president of the U.S. and other ballot measures during the Miller Drive Election Summit. Photo by Ximena Mota.

On Wed Nov 2, students at the Miller Drive campus spent periods 2 and 4 learning about political campaigns and the process of voting at a summit.

Booths were set up in various classrooms and it attracted students to learn about various political stances on popular issues; ranging from gun control to false advertisement. The 2016 election spanned over many months, and the goal of the summit was to prepare student voters for the day they could voice their choice.

“The problem with voting is the amount of information,” said social studies teacher Marlene Cruz. “I can remember being 18 and seeing the ballot, a massive document, and feeling overwhelmed, being unprepared and only focusing on the presidential candidates rather than the senators or the commission.”

The preparation progress for both the students and the staff alike was a challenge. Seniors had the pressure of college applications due while they were investigating their individual electoral topics, and the faculty maintained their regular classes as they prepared the event.

“It was very collaborative, the faculty had meetings here, at Miller, and also at the Prep,” said social science teacher Laura Thaler.  “Students worked with each other, from freshmen to seniors, and we worked with students that otherwise we would not have worked with if it hadn’t been for the summit. It was interesting and amazing to experience that dynamic.”

Students were thrilled to learn from the event, and enjoyed experiencing the product of all of their work and effort.

“I can gladly say that I am extremely happy to have been a part of something like this,” said senior Lilly Barlow.

“All levels became aware. From the participants, to the attendees, to the producers of the summit. It taught our students how to create presentations and organize logistics. Students educated their peers weeks and months worth of information in three hours,” said Ms.  Acosta.

“It certainly was a challenge, but we would definitely do it again. Even with the obstacles, it was a great experience–the logistics, coordinating an entire campus, over 200 students and 30 faculty members, and organizing ourselves with block schedule. We had bumps, but we’d do it again without question, the overall experience was amazing and the collaboration with everyone made it worthwhile.” said Ms. Cruz on whether the Social Science department would repeat the event.

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