Award-winning teacher makes democracy a class act

  • Mon Feb 6th, 2012 9:22pm
  • News

By Gale Fiege Herald Writer

EVERETT — Ira Siebert plans to share his “Democracy in Action” award from the Snohomish County League of Women Voters with his fifth-grade students at View Ridge Elementary School in Everett.

In November, Siebert’s class held a mock election, an exercise that embodies the league’s principles and support of civics in the classroom, said league member Norma Bruns of Edmonds.

It’s been 55 years since the League of Women Voters organized in Snohomish County. To celebrate the anniversary and present Siebert’s award, the organization plans its annual birthday luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the Everett Golf and Country Club,1500 52nd St. SE, Everett.

“The award is being given to me, but ultimately I truly believe in the power of kids,” Siebert said. “Sometimes they can accomplish things and do more than adults. Several of students really had an impact on the way their parents voted because of their study of the candidates and the issues.”

That’s what the non-partisan League of Women Voters is all about — helping voters make educated decisions, Bruns said.

To prepare for Election Day, Siebert’s 10- and 11-year-old students read about the races on the ballot. They wrote papers and participated in class discussions.

“I held off doing my own ballot until they turned in their papers,” Siebert said.

Student Kara Underhill said the experience made her feel like she was truly participating in the election process.

“Personally, I think adults shouldn’t vote unless they have done their research,” Kara said.

Also at the league lunch, Everett School Board president Jeff Russell plans to talk about public education, the league’s current study and discussion topic.

Also, the league’s “Civil Rights Award” is to be presented posthumously to Elizabeth Wanamaker Peratrovich, a native Alaskan credited with the passage of the Anti-Discrimination Act of 1945 in Alaska.

For more information or to make a reservation for the event, leave a message at 425-334-0086.