Canaan kids vote on new flag

Canaan fifth-grade students McKenna Hostetler (left) and Aaron Kaeser (right) along with sixth-grade student Sierra Pennington (not pictured) will find out on Tues., Nov. 4 which one of their original flag designs becomes the first official school flag for the Canaan building.
 
 

Students at Canaan Middle School in the Jonathan Alder Local School District will do double election duties on Nov. 4.

They will go to their in-school voting booths to cast mock ballots for the next U.S. president, as well as choose a design for a school flag. About 303 students are expected to participate. For three of those students, the outcome of the school flag decision will take top billing.

The idea of a dual election came in early October when enrichment teacher Cheryl Brockman and administrative assistant Michele Kiste brainstormed ways to add local flavor to election education.

Brockman said students who attended the building a few years ago voted for the middle school’s official mascot.

“It was actually Michele who spearheaded the campaign to vote for an official school flag for the building,’’ Brockman said.

Kiste said all Canaan students had the chance to submit a flag design for the vote; 65 did. School staff members narrowed the choices to 12, after which the student council picked the top three. The designs up for election belong to fifth-grade students McKenna Hostetler and Aaron Kaeser and sixth-grade student Sierra Pennington. All three incorporated the Pioneer colors (red and black) and school name.

In Hostetler’s design, the words, “School Spirit’’ and “Academic Excellence’’ surround the school’s name.

“I just picked this theme because that’s what we have here at Canaan—school spirit and academic excellence,’’ she said.

Kaeser’s design features the number “11’’ in the flag’s center.

“We try to be an 11 here (at Canaan). On a scale of 1 to 10, we want to be an 11,’’ he explained.
 
Pennington put the school’s name in large letters for her design. (She was absent the day of the Messenger’s interview.)

No matter who wins the flag com-petition or who the students favor for U.S. president, the students will know they have had a voice in the process, Brockman said.

“It will be very interesting for all of our students to see how the final vote tallies come in on Election Day,’’  Brockman said.

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