View of the Future Wauconda Middle School Students Research Candidates, Vote

Article excerpt

Although Wauconda Middle School students could not officially cast their vote in this year's election, students learned what it takes to make an informed decision through their own mock election.

Wauconda Middle School teachers touted the importance of voting to seventh- and eight-graders, teaching them all aspects of the election process, from the workings of the electoral college system to analyzing political strategies, debates and campaigns.

Language arts classes wrote persuasive campaign essays for their favorite candidate, reading classes browsed through magazines to read election stories, while social studies classes viewed tapes of the presidential debates and scored each candidate on their performance.

Jeff Sefcik, social studies teacher and co-organizer of the schoolwide unit, hopes students will become more aware of the election process when they become eligible to vote.

"Hopefully when they turn 18, they won't just listen to other people," said Sefcik.

"Now they should have the tools to watch the debates, do their own research and make their own choice who they think the best candidate is."

Students got their first taste of the election process by casting their own ballot for president in the school's mock election at real election booths donated by the Lake County Clerk's office, with PTO members acting as election judges.

District 103 earns apple: Lincolnshire-Prairie View District 103 has been chosen to receive the School Search 2004 Bright Red Apple Award. The award, given to 95 Illinois school districts, is based on academic performance, student to teacher ratio, expenditure per student, educational level of teachers and average teacher salary. School Search is a Kansas City firm that works with major companies in providing their relocating families school information.

Special teacher: Diamond Lake School second-grade teacher Barbara Buck has been included in the eighth edition of Who's Who Among America's Teachers, published in September.

Students who have been included in other publications that honor top high school and college students have the opportunity to nominate teachers for this honor.

Students can nominate one teacher who has been most influential during their academic career.

Oak Grove info sessions: The Oak Grove District 68 board of education is inviting the community to attend a second informational meeting Monday.

The session, as was the one held Oct. 25, is devoted to discussing the district's current financial picture and long-term financial scenarios. The meeting is at 7:30 p.m. at the junior high library.

Lincoln School adds clubs: Due to enormous interest, the Lincoln Leadership Team, a parent-staff organization, has decided to sponsor additional clubs at the Mundelein school this year. …