Election Judges Showcase Parker’s Mission in Action

Colonel Francis Wayland Parker once said, “The supreme need of society is ideal citizenship. Ideal citizenship demands for the individual the highest degree of knowledge, skill, power and service.” This week, close to 40 Parker juniors and seniors proved this belief is still alive and well at Parker as they exercised personal and civic power by volunteering to act as Election Judges at poling places around Chicago.

While some schools may teach the value of voting and the American democratic process, Upper School History teacher Andrew Bigelow took this idea one step further again this year by encouraging students to connect reflection with action and volunteer. Whether it was managing crowds or handling technical difficulties, these students were on the front line of democracy in action!

When she reported back to Bigelow on the process, junior Elle Marsico shared, “Being an Election Judge is so fun! I’ve gotten to use the iPad almost all day (I feel so professional). I know this means a lot to not only you, but our community, and I wanted to thank you for encouraging students to take this opportunity. I am truly learning a lot and am beyond happy I did this.” Junior Frances Gomez-Barrientos expressed, “I thought it was really interesting to be an Election Judge. I got to meet new people and see all the people that came out to vote. I’d say it was worth the 5 a.m. start time.” Senior Benjamin Kagan summarized his time as follows: “Election judging was a great experience. I really enjoyed the opportunity to work in service of the country and protect democracy.”

As Parker strives to create responsible citizens and leaders in our diverse democratic society, these types of events organized by Bigelow allow them to get real, tangible experience as to what it means to participate and help “protect” American democracy.
Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.