GRANGER, Iowa — Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate appeared before the Woodward-Granger Board of Education Monday to personally present the district with a Carrie Chapman Catt award.
The trophy was accepted by W-G high school teacher Andrew Hopper who, along with school counsellor Scott Chapman, led the push at the school.
Named for the famed suffragette who effectively lobbied for the passing of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote, the award is given to districts that registered at least 90% of the students in the Class of 2020 to vote.
Hopper teaches a myriad of classes at W-G, including both early world and modern world history, government, psychology and sociology. He said the drive to register students began in November 2019.
Inspire2Vote, a national student registration project, visited W-G during a lunch hour at the time and urged the school and the senior class students to become involved.
“So far as I am concerned, it doesn’t matter what (political) party they registered with or how they will vote, because the key was to encourage them to become involved,” Hopper said. “Often students don’t have any understanding of how the government, especially at the federal level, affects their daily lives. My job is to help them understand that and to understand that they have a voice that matters.”
Hopper said his initial goal was to see if a 70% registration threshold could be reached, but it soon became apparent the push to take a more active role in their civic lives was making an impact on the students.
Eventually the school recorded 91.4% of the Class of 2020 as registered, making W-G one of only 18 districts statewide to surpass the Chapman Catt marker of 90%.
The drive continues this school year, with efforts continuing to register more students. Although 18 is the legal voting age, Iowa law allows citizens who have turned 17 to register to vote.