Elma students attend presidential inauguration. Pictured from left are Haylie Valdivia-John, Grace Carossino, Lori Carossino, Jalyn Sackrider, Quin Mikel, Jordan Quinn-Weber, Ella Moore, Ryan Ward, Lilly Bossard, Amanda Orellana and Terry the tour guide. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Elma students back from D.C.

The presidential inauguration occurs every four years, and the most recent changing-of-the-presidents provided nine Elma students with the unique opportunity to travel to the nation’s capital and witness the process for themselves.

Making the trek from our Washington to Washington, D.C., was no small task for sixth-grader Lilly Bossard, seventh-graders Amanda Orellana and Haylie Valdivia-John, eighth-graders Jordan Quinn-Weber, Ella Moore, Ryan Ward, and ninth-graders Grace Carossino, Jalyn Sackrider and Quin Mikel.

Heather Moore, mother of Ella Moore, noted the trip did not come without extensive planning and advice-giving.

“Remember to use the buddy system at all times, be aware of your surroundings and keep track of your stuff,” she recalled telling her daughter. Parental guidance aside, Moore was excited for Ella’s opportunity to attend the inauguration.

“I told her it was a once in a lifetime event that she will never forget,” Moore said. “It was a chance for her to experience the bigger world outside of our small community and learn about our nation’s history.”

And learn she did. “I learned that Teddy Roosevelt really loved his dog. I learned, on inauguration day, that when you need to you can walk 10 miles to get to where you are going,” Ella said. “I (also) learned that more people than I could imagine died for us after I saw the Arlington Cemetery. At the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial we learned that they purposely did not finish it, stopping at his knees because they believed he had more to say, and his life was too short.”

“It also made me think about our nation’s past and all the sacrifices people have made so we can be free.”

With so much to learn, it’s no wonder Lilly Bossard felt that five days were not enough to experience all that D.C. has to offer.

“I wasn’t ready to go home,” she said.

Sending her wasn’t about politics, her mother said.

“It was about the history she would be seeing with her very own eyes,” Tonya Bossard said. “And visiting places that she’s only read about or watched documentaries on.”

Heather Moore said she could see all the fun the students were having courtesy of pictures sent by her daughter.

“Their schedule was so packed it felt like they were having a new adventure every time I checked my phone!”