Eagle Valley high schoolers hit ‘event of the century’ | VailDaily.com

Eagle Valley high schoolers hit ‘event of the century’

Lauren Glendenning
Eagle Valley, CO Colorado
AP PhotoMembers of the The US Army Herald Trumpets ensemble and various members of the military practice for the upcoming presidential inauguration, Friday on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.

EAGLE VALLEY, Colorado ” When Joe Ford heard his social studies teacher at Eagle Valley High School was collecting deposits for a trip to Washington to Barack Obama’s inauguration, he immediately went to the bank, withdrew $300 and met her in the parking lot to give her the money.

Ford, 18, didn’t want to miss the chance of a lifetime, he said.

The election hadn’t even happened yet, but he knew he wanted to see the inauguration regardless of who would be sworn into office.

“It’s going to be pretty sweet,” Ford said.

His teacher, Ashley Weaver, has taken students to a presidential inauguration before, but this one is going to be special, she said.

“It’s an opportunity for them to see our nation’s capital and learn more about history and government, and see a huge historic event,” Weaver said. “I truly believe this is the event of the century.”

Weaver and two other chaperones are taking 24 Eagle Valley High School students on the trip. They left town Saturday for the six-day adventure in Washington, where they’ll explore museums and check out the national monuments.

The Spy Museum is one of the more exciting stops along the way for many of the students.

“The Spy Museum sounds really cool,” said 18-year-old Karina Manriquez.

Manriquez, like several of the other students going on the trip, just voted for the first time in her life. Watching a president get sworn in whom she actually voted for is especially exciting, she said.

Manriquez was for President-elect Obama “all the way.” She did her research before the election so she would know what she was voting for, she said.

Students going on the trip are all across the board. While Manriquez was a huge Obama supporter, Ford preferred McCain, and 17-year-old Stephanie Renzelman was indifferent.

“I didn’t really have a preference; I didn’t research (the candidates) a ton,” Renzelman said.

She said she wanted to see the inauguration, though, because it’s “one of those once in a lifetime opportunities.”

“I probably won’t go to another inauguration,” she said. “This is one of those things that will be history one day. You can’t do it again.”

For Luis Corral, 17, it’s the historic element of the event that drew him. He’s never been too far outside of Colorado, and he’s excited to have the chance to travel and see the monuments.

Weaver starting e-mailing Colorado congressmen in September to try to get on their lottery-based lists for tickets, but she had no luck. The group plans to join millions of others on the National Mall to watch from afar and on TV screens.

“They get to be a part of it one way or another,” Weaver said.

Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or lglendenning@vaildaily.com

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