McElroy plans January Inauguration trip for BHS students

Helen Law

With either exasperated groans or gleeful satisfaction, everyone now knows who will take the Inaugural Oath in January, signifying the continued occupation of the Oval Office for the next four years. But few have the privilege of witnessing the actual ceremony live. This January, a few dozen lucky Bearden students will have the honor of attending the re-inauguration of President Barack Obama. Bearden’s Mrs. Gloria McElroy teaches AP Government and Politics to mostly sophomores. She invited this semester’s first and fourth block classes to partake in a pilgrimage to Washington. The field trip consists of a refreshing historical take of America’s most basic qualities, symbolized by the key iconic monuments at the National Mall and attending the Presidential Inauguration, an event that epitomizes one of America’s most cherished values, democracy. The National Mall is acreage of land containing many of America’s most famous patriotic constructions including the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. “I enjoy Washington,” Mrs. McElroy said. “As a political scientist, I, of course, like seeing how our country works and there are also many neat things there.” Among the many activities to be engaged in over the course of three days, Bearden students will tour D.C.’s monuments at night, explore Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, and meet Tennessee Representative John J. Duncan. “Just learning about all of the different monuments and going to the inauguration and just having the whole experience is really exciting,” said Bearden sophomore Taylor Johnson, who is attending the field trip. “Since it’s in high school, it’s more exciting because you get to go with kids your own age and get to hear their opinions on the inauguration and the president and all of the different experiences.” The trip starts on Jan. 17 when students board the bus at school and then make the eight hour trip to D.C. Along the way, students will get to stop and eat an 18th century colonial meal whilst learning about the Revolutionary War lifestyle at the historical Muncie Tavern. About three miles from there is Monticello, the mansion and plantation Jefferson owned. Jefferson lived, worked, and was eventually buried at the Monticello. “Because my sister-in-law works at Monticello, she’s going to arrange for us to have a special tour so we’re going to get to go inside the dome of Monticello,” Mrs. McElroy said. “Usually people don’t get to go up into the dome and we’re going to get to go up into the dome.” Other than just viewing the monuments, students will visit some of the many museums in the National Mall. This is not the first time Mrs. McElroy has taken students to see an inauguration. “I had taken students to the 2000 inauguration and it was a tremendous experience for everybody,” she said. “I thought it would be a great opportunity for kids to go from here.” Helen Law is a staff writer for The Bark. Follow TheBark on Twitter @BeardenBARK and like The Bark (Bearden High School) on Facebook .