Voting for the first time in Pembroke Pines
Students walk to early voting.
By Valerie Lockwood Moran
PEMBROKE PINES, FL — One Hundred eligible seniors from three Broward County High Schools met at Pembroke Pines Charter High School to vote in their first Presidential election during early voting at the Broward County Southwest Regional Library. The All-American event, organized by William Quigley, the PPCHS Government and Economics and Law Teacher, brings new meaning to classroom lectures. “Our students are making and ultimately will live with the history of their vote.”
In keeping with a four-year tradition the Pembroke Pines Charter High School seniors were greeted by Pembroke Pines City Officials, Pembroke Pines Mayor Frank C. Ortis, Commissioners Iris Siple, Angelo Castillo and Jay Schwartz, City Manager Charles Dodge and Principal Peter Bayer. The group was joined by School Board Member Patti Good and Representative Richard Stark for a commemorative photo on the steps of Susan B. Katz Theater of Performing Arts at the River of Grass ArtsPark. Following the photo, the seniors and officials walked across cam-pus to vote with their peers from Flanagan and West Broward High Schools.
The PPCHS government classes stress to students the importance one vote can make. “People talk about coming to America to live the American Dream. Well, the dream only becomes a reality when American citizens are educated on the laws governing our country, live ethically, get involved in their community and vote. In class we teach the importance of due diligence: educate your-self about the issues facing and affecting your city, state and federal government. Do you see action or inaction by elected officials? Make informed decisions and your vote will make the difference. Lastly, but not least, we stress respecting opinions of others. No one is right or wrong because of an opinion; we tell our students if you don’t see eye to eye with someone, then agree to dis-agree, agreeably!”
Earlier in the day Pembroke Pines Charter Academic Village Middle School students participated in a mock vote and were addressed by Pembroke Pines City Officials, who spoke about the importance of becoming informed about issues, taking responsibility for their com-munity and country through active involvement in the political process and exercising their American right to vote.
“Today our middle school students heard directly about the importance of voting and our newly eligible students from the class of 2017 enjoyed a rite of passage when they exercised their right to vote,” said Peter Bayer, Principal of the PPCHS as he watched the students file into to vote.