The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

January 21, 2013

Pittsburg students in nation’s capital for inauguration

The 14 students from Pittsburg High School who were in Washington, D.C., for President Barack Obama’s inauguration were not going to miss their wake-up call Monday, their teacher said.

“The students were up at 4:15 this morning and on site (at the National Mall) at 6 o’clock,” Gary Wolgamott, a government teacher at the Kansas school, said by telephone Monday afternoon. “We were probably about 10 to 12 blocks from the actual area of the Capitol building where the ceremony took place.”

Wolgamott and his students are in the nation’s capital for the inauguration of Obama to his second term, which they watched via large screens set up on the National Mall. The trip was organized by WorldStrides, an educational nonprofit travel group that has been offering inaugural trips for 20 years by invitation only. It was coordinated at the school level by Wolgamott.

Wolgamott said he and his students stayed for the entire ceremony, starting with the seating of the politicians and dignitaries in attendance through Obama’s inaugural speech. He said the ceremony was steeped with history and rituals, from the Bibles being used during the swearing-in of the president to the 21-gun salute from Arlington National Cemetery.

“There’s a tradition here, and the traditions that are being practiced are the same ones we started off with when the nation was started,” he said. “It’s amazing to stand there and watch these processes that go back to the time of the Founding Fathers.”

Wolgamott often shows a video of presidents’ inaugural speeches in his classes, but to hear one firsthand was a unique experience for his students, he said.

“I think being there adds a whole different perspective, especially when you have the crowd around you responding to what’s being said, so you’re kind of feeding off the people around you,” he said. “The kids brought an American flag, so they were going crazy.”

Wolgamott said he hopes his students will use the experience to become more civic-minded residents of their community.

“Like I told our students, it doesn’t matter whether you support his policies or not,” he said. “It’s (about) the respect of the office he holds, and that’s one of those character-educational opportunities to hopefully make them better citizens in the future.”

Since arriving in Washington on Saturday, the group has visited the Library of Congress, the Capitol, the National Archives, the Smithsonian museums, Arlington National Cemetery and several memorials, including the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.

“We were there (at Arlington cemetery) when President Obama was there putting the wreath on the Unknown Soldier’s grave,” Wolgamott said. “We didn’t get to see him, obviously, but we saw his motorcade, and that was pretty impressive for the students.”

Today the group plans to visit Ford’s Theatre and perhaps the National Archives once more before flying out this afternoon.

“It’s been a very whirlwind three days so far, but that’s good,” Wolgamott said. “We’re all tired, but it’s a good tired.”

Also in Washington

MEMBERS OF THE McDonald County High School band as well as Sanjay Jenkins, a junior at Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School in Joplin, also were in the nation’s capital Monday for activities related to the president’s inauguration.

Text Only
Local News
  • State audit of Joplin School District begins

    Staff members from the state auditor’s office have begun their audit of the Joplin School District, Superintendent C.J. Huff said Monday. They are expected to be in the district four days per week for the next five to six months, or perhaps longer, until the audit is complete, Huff said.

    July 21, 2014

  • Burglary conviction draws shock prison time

    A Joplin man who received 120 days of shock incarceration time Friday in a drunken-driving case in Jasper County Circuit Court was assessed a concurrent sentence Monday in a burglary case.

    July 21, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Family gatherings mirror circle of life

    The annual family gathering is getting bigger. There tends to be an ebb and a flow to most family gatherings. When you’re a kid, and especially if you’re a kid from a large Catholic family, the gatherings seem to be huge.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Carthage man pleads guilty in sexual abuse case

    A Carthage man pleaded guilty Monday to sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl in a plea agreement that would cap the length of his prison term at no more than 15 years.

    July 21, 2014

  • Main Street TIF district study to begin

    A measure that allows the city to charge its administrative costs for studying a proposal to create a tax increment financing district on South Main Street was approved Monday by the Joplin City Council.

    July 21, 2014

  • 071714 Jasper Cty Dispatch1_72.jpg Area communities, Jasper County work to improve communications

    The first law enforcement officer to respond to a fatal shooting last November at Northpark Mall was from the Duquesne Police Department — not Joplin. Joplin police Chief Jason Burns said he wasn’t bothered by that. “We dispatch for them, and they had an officer close who could get there faster,” he said. “And getting help to people as quickly as possible is more important than jurisdictions.”

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • New and old TIF districts on agenda for Joplin council

    Another tax increment financing district is being proposed for Joplin, this one along South Main Street. The area is close to the new Mercy Hospital Joplin that is set to open next year. RKS Development is seeking authorization from the Joplin City Council when it meets Monday night to prepare a request to establish a TIF district.

    July 20, 2014

  • AndraBryanStefanoni.jpg Andra Bryan Stefanoni: Family grows by one — a black Lab named Raven

    If you haven’t experienced the feeling of a tiny puppy in your lap at the end of a perfect July Saturday — hammock time, s’mores, leisurely walks, you know the kind — I highly recommend it. It is pure joy.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 042017 Jo Ellis_c.jpg Jo Ellis: Car show, sidewalk sale and more scheduled for weekend in Carthage

    All roads leading to Carthage should be packed this weekend as numerous events geared toward entertainment, cultural pursuits and bargain hunting are expected to pull in large crowds.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SusanRedden.jpg Susan Redden: Hobby Lobby lawyer to speak at watermelon feed

    Josh Hawley, who helped represent Hobby Lobby in arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court on contraception requirements in the Affordable Care Act, has been added to the list of speakers for Thursday’s annual watermelon feed sponsored by Newton County Republicans.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read


Do you think Missouri should pass legislation that would allow a prescription drug database to be kept?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter