2016-11-10 / Around Town

Middle School Students Study Local Candidates

Clinton Storms to Landslide Victory in Mock Election
By Olga Enger


“I would increase the time we spend in each class.” – Riley Stout “I would increase the time we spend in each class.” – Riley Stout Although it will be several years before Newport’s sixth graders are allowed to hit the polls alone, students rolled up their sleeves this election to get to know the candidates that directly impact their education.

Inspired by forums organized by Alliance for a Livable Newport, Thompson teacher Lisa Olaynack invited School Committee candidates for interviews, where students asked them questions such as how they would make schools more eco-friendly and if they support ability grouping.

After the interviews, Newport This Week sat down with students to learn what they would like out of the newly elected committee.

“I would like to see more technology,” said Kanin Leggett, who added his favorite part of school was science class. Classmate Dellicia Allen said she would like to see more recess equipment for her younger peers at the school.


“My favorite thing about the Newport schools is science class. We have all sorts of cool stuff to play with.” – Kanin Leggett “My favorite thing about the Newport schools is science class. We have all sorts of cool stuff to play with.” – Kanin Leggett One student advocated for something she warned would be unpopular with her peers — more academics.

“Government shouldn’t be paying for our education. In private schools, it is less fun, more serious. They wear uniforms. Sometimes it gets too crazy here,” said Zahra Brown.

In a schoolwide mock election, the overwhelming majority, or 76 percent, of 591 students voted for Hillary Clinton. Trump earned 97 votes and 47 voted for third party candidates.



“I would improve and expand the music department.” – Georgia Sones “I would improve and expand the music department.” – Georgia Sones

“Newport schools give students the opportunity to get involved with the school outside of classes, such as planning parties.” –Dellicia Allen, student council 
Photos by Olga Enger “Newport schools give students the opportunity to get involved with the school outside of classes, such as planning parties.” –Dellicia Allen, student council Photos by Olga Enger

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