Archive for Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Students participate in two-bit election

April 27, 2004

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What's the best way to represent Kansas on the state's official quarter: A buffalo? A sunflower? A bow-and-arrow-toting American Indian?

High school students in Lawrence will help decide Wednesday.

High school students in Kansas are choosing this week from among
these four designs for the new state quarter. <a href=
"http://www2.ljworld.com/polls/2004/apr/quarter/"><b>You can vote
for your favorite in our online poll</b>.</a>

High school students in Kansas are choosing this week from among these four designs for the new state quarter. <a href= "http://www2.ljworld.com/polls/2004/apr/quarter/"><b>You can vote for your favorite in our online poll</b>.</a>

Principals at Lawrence High School and Free State High School said Monday they would distribute state quarter ballots during Wednesday seminar periods.

"I think it's commendable that the people in charge of this felt very strongly about having students involved," said Steve Nilhas, LHS principal.

The students will choose from four designs that will be forwarded to the U.S. mint for circulation beginning August 2005.

Some principals across the state were opting not to participate in the vote because of the time factors involved. The Department of Education sent an e-mail to administrators Thursday and said the vote had to take place Monday, today or Wednesday.

"The timetable is very short," said FSHS Principal Joe Snyder.

But Snyder said students would be given the option of completing the ballots Wednesday.

Vicki Buening, director of constituent services for Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, said schools wouldn't need much time to complete the process.

"The vision was to keep it as simple as possible," she said.

Results of the vote will be announced next week, with the final product forwarded to the U.S. Mint by May 15.

Though the timing wasn't an issue at Lawrence public schools, who will participate was a concern to some. Unlike most high schools in the state, Lawrence high schools include only 10th, 11th and 12th graders. Ninth-graders are considered junior high school students.

Trish Bransky, principal at Southwest Junior High School, said she thought her ninth-graders should be allowed to participate.

"If ninth-graders across the state are having their say, I think our students should be allowed to participate as well," she said.

But Bransky said she wasn't "interested in making an issue of it."

The voting process already was under way at one Douglas County school. Baldwin High School students voted for their favorite design Monday morning.

"Of course, you get all types of reactions," said Melody Hoffsommer, the counselor who organized the vote. "I think they thought it was pretty cool. And then you have some that are apathetic."

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