York, Clover school groups to witness inauguration in DC

news@enquirerherald.comJanuary 17, 2013 

When Barack Obama is sworn into office for his second term as president on Monday, York and Clover high school students will be among those watching from the crowd in Washington, D.C.

When Barack Obama is sworn into office for his second term as president on Monday, York and Clover high school students will be among those watching from the crowd in Washington, D.C.

York Comprehensive High School plans to take 54 high school students and adults on a four-day trip to the presidential inauguration, while Clover High School plans to take a group of 35 on a five-day trip.

For Jane Gilfillan, a teacher at York Comprehensive, next week’s second Obama inauguration will mark her sixth consecutive trip with students to see a U.S. president take the oath of office. Gilfillan has taken student groups to each inauguration since George Bush Sr. in 1993.

“Every year, I come back and I’m so tired, but in the community, you just hear parents and kids talk about how it was one of the greatest moments in their high school careers,” she said.

Leann Mellon, a Clover High U.S. history and government teacher who will be leading the Clover group, has never attended a presidential inauguration. She said Clover hasn’t take a student group to the event for about 15 years.

“The teachers in our history department just starting talking about it and thinking it was a good opportunity,” Mellon said. “We did some research, and decided it could be a very affordable trip for students.”

Both groups plan to do some sightseeing before they come home.

Jacob Brumble, a 17-year-old Clover High senior, said he’s anxious to see history take place. He has visited Washington before, he said, but “you can never spend too much time there.”

“I want to be a history teacher when I grow up, so it will be a really cool thing to be able to tell my students that I went to see a presidential inauguration,” he said. “I figure it’s a once-in-a-lifetime kind of trip, so you might as well take it when you have the chance.”

York freshman Valerie Dawkins, 14, said she will be making her first trip to Washington with Gilfillan’s group. She’s starting to enjoy history more, and is anxious to see it being made.

“The past is kind of like a mystery,” Valerie said. “You get to see how everything plays out.”

Kaitlyn Spires, a 14-year-old York freshman, will be going on the trip with her mother. “Not many people get to go on these trips,” she said. “I’m pretty sure I’ll remember it for the rest of my life.”

Jordan Wiggins, a 14-year-old York freshman, said that in addition to the inauguration, he wants to see memorials and museums that he didn’t see during a brief visit to Washington.

“I want to see it all again so I can understand it more,” he said.

Mellon said the Clover group plans to leave at midnight Saturday and return on Thursday, Jan. 24. They plan to attend an inauguration ball for student groups on Monday evening.

The Clover group also plans visits to places that include the memorial sites, Mount Vernon, Arlington National Cemetery, the National Archives, Supreme Court, Holocaust Museum, Library of Congress and the Capitol, as well as the Smithsonian Museum.

The York group plans to leave early Friday morning and return late Monday, shortly after the inauguration. Planned stops include the memorial sites, Library of Congress, Capitol building, the World War II memorial, Holocaust Museum, Ford Theater, National Archives, Arlington National Cemetery and others.

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