By Andrew Cook
Nicholas County High School — Mrs. Freeman’s Pre-AP American History class has conducted a series of debates in which the students posed as former Presidents of the United States. These debates occurred throughout the fall semester during regular class time. By participating in these debates, the students gained a deeper understanding of our Presidents through a fun and interesting hands on approached. The students chose and researched previous Presidents and First Ladies to understand the impact that they had on American history.
The Presidents chosen for this endeavor date from the founding of our country to present day. The persona of our first President, George Washington, was played by Galilea Villasenor and First Lady Martha Washington was played by Amber Coger. Theodore Roosevelt, the youngest President to take office was acted out by Alex Rose, and First Lady Edith Roosevelt was acted out by Makayla Garcia. The first African American to take office, Barack Obama, was enacted by Luke LeRose and First Lady Michelle Obama was enacted by Seth Young.
After much debating, Mrs. Freeman, the Judge, came to the consensus that President Abraham Lincoln (Taylor Brown) and First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln along with President Ulysses S. Grant (Trey Comer) were the finalists in the Presidential Debates.
To determine who would be the winner of the debate, the entire class voted. The results were twenty-two votes in favor of Abraham Lincoln and three votes in favor of Ulysses S. Grant. This coincides with the general consensus of the majority of Americans. Abraham Lincoln is seen as an American president who, despite his flaws, achieved national unity without slavery; Ulysses S. Grant is viewed by most Americans as a man who worked hard to help his country, but due to his cabinet’s problems, he couldn’t get enough accomplished during his tenure in office.
Altogether, the debates were a success. Everyone had an enjoyable experience researching the Presidents and participating in the presidential debates. “I think that the students have taken a lot out of this,” said Mrs. Freeman. A special thank you to the JROTC for suppling some of the costumes to make the Presidents for the debates come to life.