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IN HIGH SCHOOL COMPETITION, KEMP HONORS TOP STUDENT AMBASSADORS
ATLANTA – On Friday, May 12, 2017, Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced this year’s regional and statewide winners of his second annual Student Ambassador Competition. Newnan High School took the top spot along with regional winners Elbert County Comprehensive High School, The King’s Academy, Kennesaw Mountain High School, Thomas County Central High School, and the Pierce County Chamber of Commerce.
This school year, 102 Georgia high schools and local associations competed in Kemp’s leadership initiative with students hosting voter registration drives, speaking to classes of their peers about civic engagement, and volunteering in their communities.
In Kemp’s ceremony remarks, he explained, “The program has been a great success because of the hardworking students, great faculty members, and local leaders who have dedicated their time and efforts into making their communities stronger and encouraging civic participation through voter registration.” Kemp told the students, “After being challenged to educate your fellow classmates and neighbors on the importance of voting and being involved in your community, you have risen to the occasion.”
“As the top-achieving ambassadors across the state this year, all of you have truly set the bar for every succeeding class to come after you,” he added, followed by words of advice for the students: “Work hard every day to ensure that you are contributing to your work, community, and family. There is literally no goal too big to shoot for in this country of ours.”
Among their various projects, Newnan High School amassed 435,658 points by hosting two voter registration drives, attending civic meetings to engage with elected officials, and producing thirty-two videos on the importance of voting. Students also served as poll workers in last year’s historic presidential election and volunteered at the “Peanut Poll” at the Georgia National Fair.
“This great group of student leaders went above and beyond to reach this milestone, and we are all so proud of their hard work,” said Kemp.
Secretary Kemp also walked through the regional winners’ work in the competition.
Students from Central East region winner, Elbert County Comprehensive High School, served as poll watchers at their local elections office and hosted several opinion polls for their fellow students on current events. The team spoke to classes on the importance of voting and produced a video on civic engagement.
Students from Northeast region winner, The King’s Academy, paged at the State Capitol for Representative Wes Cantrell and spoke to fifty-eight classes on the importance of voting. They also organized two voter registration rallies, hosted eleven opinion polls, produced two videos on the importance of voting, and hosted a “Day of Service” for their fellow students.
For the Northwest region, Kennesaw Mountain High School volunteered with Redemption Baptist Church and organized a 5k race for charity. The school also held five voter registration drives, attended two civic meetings in the community, and spoke to thirty-seven classes on the electoral process.
The Southeast region winner, the Pierce County Chamber of Commerce, won the competition’s “Voter Registration Deadline Video Challenge” and volunteered with their county elections office twenty-six times throughout the year.
The Southwest region winner, Thomas County Central High School, hosted an autism awareness 5k race and paged at the State Capitol for Representative Darlene Taylor. The team also served as poll workers, hosted a voter registration rally, attended fourteen civic meetings in their community, volunteered at the “Peanut Poll” at the Georgia National Fair, and served with “Backpack Buddies” on multiple occasions.
Secretary Kemp presented every student from the regional and statewide winning groups with “Outstanding Georgian” certificates to honor their accomplishments, and the winning regional schools received commemorative plaques. Several Chick-fil-A locations near Cobb Parkway, Woodstock, Barnett Shoals, Newnan, Thomasville, and Blackshear also donated giftcards for the students’ prizes.
First-place winner Newnan High School received the coveted competition trophy, an official commendation from Governor Nathan Deal, a free tour of Atlanta radio station, Star 94, and the chance to sit in on a segment of Star 94’s “Jeff & Jen Show”. The team’s “Most Valuable Players” – Lexus Butler and Austin Pelley – were awarded free tickets from Star 94 to see The Weeknd at Philips Arena.
Secretary Kemp was joined by several elected officials – State Representatives, Wes Cantrell and Bob Trammell, and State Senator, Matt Brass – and community leaders – Coweta County School Superintendent, Steve Barker; Newnan High School Principal, Dr. Chase Puckett; and Cynthia Bennett from the Coweta County Chamber of Commerce – at today’s ceremony.
Brian Kemp has been Secretary of State since January 2010. Among the office’s wide-ranging responsibilities, the Secretary of State is charged with conducting secure, accessible, and fair elections, the registration of corporations, and the regulation of securities, charities, and professional license holders. For more information about the office, go to www.sos.ga.gov or follow Secretary Kemp on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube.