The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

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.

1
Text Only
Top Stories
  • r041814capbus4.jpg Funding shortfall could hinder public transportation in Southeast Kansas

    For the past two years, Pittsburg State University sophomore Travis Cook has been using public transportation to get to and from his classes. He began using the bus his freshman year, when he didn’t have a vehicle to drive even to the grocery store — which is said to be the case for many who use the service.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bruner denied change of venue for murder trial

    Circuit Judge Gayle Crane has denied a change of venue for a defendant charged with fatally shooting an assistant football coach at Missouri Southern State University. The attorney for Jeffrey Bruner claimed pretrial publicity as the reason for seeking a change of venue in Jasper County Circuit Court.

    April 18, 2014

  • Russell family sues city, Joplin police

    Family members of a teenage girl whose suicide a year ago brought them into conflict with police officers and emergency medical technicians are suing the city and the Joplin Police Department. Kevin and Julissa Russell and their son, Brant Russell, are the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in Jasper County Circuit Court. The action filed on the Russells’ behalf by Kansas City attorney Andrew Protzman names the city, the Police Department and Officers Austin Wolf and Tyler Christensen as defendants.

    April 18, 2014

  • Kansas Regents stick with social media policy

    After directing a committee to study a controversial social media policy and make recommended changes, the Kansas Board of Regents appears to not be changing the policy at all. It’s left some in academia baffled by why it appointed the work group in the first place.

    April 18, 2014

  • Britain Easter Pilgri_Cast.jpg SLIDESHOW: Good Friday observances around the world Around the world, Christians are coming together in observance of Good Friday, which they believe was the day Jesus was crucified. Here are some photos from Good Friday commemorations around the world.

    April 18, 2014

  • Missouri House votes to expand sales tax exemptions

    Pizza parlors, doughnut shops and even convenience stores all could be in line for a tax break on the food that they make and sell as a result of a measure moving through the Missouri Legislature.

    April 18, 2014

  • 041714 School safe rooms4_72.jpg Joplin school district readies community safe rooms for storm season

    Thousands of Joplin residents will soon be able to stay safe during storms in some of the region’s newest shelters. Community safe rooms at Cecil Floyd, Stapleton, McKinley and Eastmorland elementary schools, which double as gymnasiums, and Junge Field, which will double as a field house, are expected to be open within the next few weeks, according to Mike Johnson, the school district’s director of construction.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • 041714 Treble Makers.jpg Carl Junction ‘Treble Makers’ to sing at Springfield Cardinals’ stadium

    Next month, 75 Carl Junction sixth-grade students will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Hammons Field before a Springfield Cardinals game. And with more than 600 parents, family members and other residents planning to attend, the May 3 event has been dubbed “Carl Junction Day.”

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Public hearing set on posed TIF district

    Financial details of a proposed new tax increment financing district for the Silver Creek Galleria area will be discussed in detail at an April 28 public hearing, members of the city’s TIF Commission were told Thursday. Chris Williams, a TIF attorney representing the city of Joplin, told the panel the Thursday meeting was intended to walk commissioners through the public hearing steps.

    April 17, 2014

  • Volunteer projects spark two bills in Jefferson City

    Bills moving through the Missouri House and Senate were inspired by a volunteer project in Carl Junction last year that stalled over a question of whether those volunteers had to be paid prevailing wage under Missouri law. “This bill is very simple. All it says is if someone is a volunteer, they won’t be forced to be paid prevailing wage,” state Rep. Charlie Davis, R-Webb City, told lawmakers during a hearing on his bill last week.

    April 17, 2014