The other time honored tradition in the eighth grade was the election of the Student Body President. My school went from kindergarten through the eighth grade, and all students could vote. We had been preparing for this capstone election throughout our years, with regular class elections. But this one brought out election posters up and down the halls drawn by all classes supporting one or the other. Me or Anne, as it happens.
I had siblings in kindergarten, second and fifth grade, giving me a slight edge over Anne whose siblings were only in second and fifth grade. We counted on their help in “getting out the vote.” But after all the politicking, the speeches and the posters, when the final vote was tallied, Anne won and I lost. To my eternal gratitude the actual numbers were never released in these races. I hoped I hadn’t been crushed by her, but I will never know.
I tried again in high school running for Student Body Treasurer against Rhoda. We came from two different elementary schools, with Rhoda’s being the more prestigious. She actually confronted me in the hall and said “I would be mortified if you won.” She wasn’t mortified and I didn’t win. Again the actual vote count was kept secret.
Why my involvement in school politics? My parents were very active in local politics with my father running for State Representative. He lost. My mother ran for the school board. She won. It just was part of my family life supported throughout with civics lessons during all of my education. I haven’t run again, but I always vote. It is just part of me now.