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HHS Named Jennings Randolph Award-Winning School

By Staff | Dec 27, 2017

Photo Provided Honorary Secretary of State recipient Victoria Hawkins stands with Social Studies Teacher Hannah Evans.

Hundred High School has been selected as a Jennings Randolph Award-Winning school for the 2017-2018 school year.

Named after the late U. S. Senator from Harrison County, and the father of the 26th Amendment to the Constitution, The Jennings Randolph Award is a prestigious award given to schools in West Virginia that register at least 85 percent of eligible 12th grade students to vote. Hundred registered 100 percent of their its class.

With the assistance of Inspire WV Student Ambassadors Victoria Hawkins, Chalea Cottrill, Tyler Simms, Brandan Rine, Jocelyn Prado, Cole Henderson, Logan Norris, Mahalah Britton, and Lane Kolat, Hundred High School held a voter registration drive on Nov. 28. They were joined by Hilary Kinney, Inspire WV Regional Coordinator, and Penny Brick, Northern Region Field Service Representative for the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office. All 20 members of the senior class came out and registered to vote.

Junior Victoria Hawkins emerged as a leader among her peers, and was selected as an Honorary Secretary of State.

Per the WV SOS website, “Students recognized with the ‘Honorary Secretary of State’ designation have proven to their school, community, and state that they want to see more young people in West Virginia voting and playing an active role in our government. Students recognized as Honorary Secretary of States are leaders in their high schools and have committed to registering, informing, and mobilizing their peers to vote.

Photo Provided The Hundred High School senior class, as well as the Inspire WV Student Ambassadors.

The HSOS Program recognizes high school students who are active with registering people to vote in their schools and communities. Honorees spend time in the Secretary of State’s Office shadowing Secretary of State Mac Warner during a typical work day. These students learn about the core functions of the office, including our Elections, Administrative Law, and Business and Licensing divisions.

The ‘Honorary Secretary of State’ program is a joint venture between the Secretary of State’s Office and non-partisan organizations such as Inspire West Virginia, aimed at encouraging eligible high school juniors and seniors to register to vote. This joint venture encourages students and teachers to engage West Virginia’s young adults to become active and educated voters regardless of their political affiliation.”

Hawkins, as well as Hundred High School, will be honored at the State Capitol’s Day at the Legislature on Jan. 8. The Student Ambassadors and members of the HHS senior class will travel to Charleston to participate in the day’s events, which include a luncheon with elected officials, an elected official panel, an Inspire WV press conference with the Secretary of State, and a workshop for students to begin planning for “get out the vote” leading up to the May primary election.

Because Hundred registered 100 percent of their senior class, the school will be visited by Secretary of State Mac Warner, who will present a commemorative plaque to Principal Beth Sigley.

Twenty schools across the state have won the Jennings Randolph Award for the 2017-2018 school year.

Hundred’s social studies teachers, Hannah Evans and Kasey Sapp, are excited for their students to get this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“I’m tremendously proud of our kids. As their civics teacher, it’s my job to educate our seniors on the importance of registering to vote. So many people think, ‘My vote doesn’t count, so why bother?’ But I wanted them to understand the difference that they can make in their communities and their world by participating in the election process. In the end, each and every one of them made the decision to register. They’re all excited to head to Charleston and get a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes at the Capitol. I love to see their enthusiasm,” Evans said.

On her application for the Honorary Secretary of State program, Hawkins wrote, “In West Virginia, less than half of the population aged 18-25 voted [in the 2016 general election]. I believe that the ability for a young student in high school to register to vote is vital, because it’s important for us to have a hand in the democratic process. We are a part of the population, and we are always, or will be, affected by the decisions made and outcomes of elections. If young voters don’t use this privilege, then they run the potential risk of their voice not being heard.”

Hawkins is a student in Kasey Sapp’s Advanced Placement History class. “Tori is a responsible, diligent student with a very bright mind. She is driven, and works independently to delve deeper into subjects and obtain as much knowledge as possible. She deserves the accolades she is receiving,” expressed Sapp.

Inspire U.S. is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization supporting students to host and plan peer-to-peer voter registration drives and voter engagement and mobilization events and activities in their schools. Any school, teacher, or student in Wetzel County or the Northern Panhandle interested in bringing an Inspire WV program to their school may contact Hilary Kinney at hilary.kinney@inspire-usa.org.