Sunday, September 5, 2004

Campbell students to attend inaugural

By William Croyle
Enquirer contributor

ALEXANDRIA - Some Campbell County High School students will attend the 2005 presidential inauguration and are hoping to score up-close seats to the historic event.

For the 25th straight year, students here will take a one-week trip to Washington, D.C., where they will learn about the executive branch of government. They will be there from Jan. 16-22, only the second time their trip will take place during an inauguration. The first time was in 2001.

At that event, students were on the parade route during the ceremony. They hope this time will be different.

"There is a chance that our senators will be able to get us onto the lawn of the Capitol," said Campbell County political science teacher Geoffrey Besecker, who is organizing the trip. "There's a possibility we can get right in the thick of things."

Besecker found out after the 2001 trip that he could have gotten tickets for the inauguration on the lawn from U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, who organized the ceremony. Besecker said he will be calling staff members of McConnell and U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Southgate, soon to see if he can get tickets for this year's ceremony, no matter who wins the election.

The trip is open to everyone in the school. About 25 students have expressed interest so far. The cost is $2,000 each, and fund-raisers to lower the cost are in the works.

Besecker teaches his yearlong political science class to 135 seniors.

"We do it then because it's when they're 18 and ready to go out into society," said Besecker. "All their classes are important, but political science will always affect them, no matter what they venture into."

One of his students is Ashley Rowe of Alexandria.

"I'm leaning more toward Bush because I like how he's led our country, and I think he's more experienced. But if Kerry wins, I'd love to see him too," said Rowe. "I'm going to the inauguration of a president, whoever that will be."


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