Shepard students deliver own inaugural addresses
January 17, 2013 4:08PM
Shepard High School advanced placement English students (from left) Brian Piszczek, Simone Alexander, Marquia George and Janek Wasag discuss the platform for their mock presidential inaugural address. Alexander delivered the speech as “president.” | Supplied Photo
Updated: February 21, 2013 6:05AM
Dressed in their executive best, advanced placement English students at Shepard High School recently delivered presidential inaugural addresses that never happened.
For the intellectual exercise, teachers Eric Kallenborn and Jeff Vazzana required students to research the domestic issues, economic outlook, world affairs and political factors in years when the United States did not host presidential elections.
Students could choose among 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1990, 2002 and 2010.
Teams conducted the research and, on the day of the presentation, discussed the platform of issues that affected the content of the speech with classmates. Then one member of the team — the “president” — delivered the inaugural address.
Preparing to take office in 1966, President Rebecca Bruesch discussed civil rights, the emerging conflict in Vietnam, and other issues that often divided America.
“We gather here today to discover a new America; an America of freedom, an America of equality, an America of change,” Bruesch said. “Today we put behind us the past of injustice and inequality and step forward into a brighter future where no one is punished for their race, gender or beliefs.”
Although the issues in 1918 differed greatly from those that Bruesch faced in 1966, “president” Alex Karasek nevertheless needed to appeal for unity. In January, the outcome of World War I remained in doubt.
“My brilliant opponent, Woodrow Wilson, led us through the first hard years of this earth-shattering war vigilantly — but the work is far from over,” Karasek said. “As your president, I vow to not only continue Wilson’s work, keeping this nation afloat during this time of turmoil, but also to push this nation into the farthest reaches of its potential.”
Provided to the SouthtownStar