President Barack Obama. (Associated Press)
Last Modified: Friday, January 11, 2013 12:35 PM
Good grades and leadership ability have gained one student access to this year’s Presidential Inauguration. Spencer Butts, a seventh-grade student at LeBlanc Middle School, was nominated by teachers to attend the Jan. 21 ceremony as an Inaugural Scholar.
As part of the Middle School Presidential Inaugural Conference, students will spend five days learning about the election and the president. Former first daughters Barbara Pierce Bush and Jenna Bush Hager will talk to students about growing up in the White House. A highlight of the conference will be partaking in a viewing to watch the inaugural parade as the president makes his way down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House. Scholars will also be a part of the Gala Inaugural Celebration at National Harbor.
Spencer’s mother, Sabrina Butts, said he has been studying the election process in class to help prepare him for the trip. He has even started sharing what he knows to his family during dinner.
“He’s familiarizing himself with the electoral college. He always says ‘I’ll break it down for you, Mom,’ ” said Butts. “Here is my 12-year-old son teaching me about the Electoral College at the dinner table. ... He explained it to a T. He’s always, since he was little, just put everything into it.”
Spencer’s involvement at his school was one element that helped in his nomination for the January trip. He serves as an officer in several clubs, including Student Council, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Beta. Last year, Spencer stepped up his leadership abilities by starting a Spanish club at school.
Assistant Principal Felicia Coleman said in school Spencer has had a particular interest in politics so she encouraged him to apply for the program. She said he received support from teachers helping him gain his position in Washington, D.C.
“He’s very conscientious and a natural-born leader. He’s the most polite, respectful and compassionate child among his peers,” said Coleman. “He ... always wants what’s best for the teams, best for the school, best for the community.”
Spencer is fully aware of this opportunity few 12-year-olds get to participate in and is looking forward to not only partaking in a momentous event but having the chance to meet other students from around the country. He also wants to build his leadership abilities.
“Leadership is one of the biggest things in a person’s life because if I can take that away it will help in the future,” said Spencer. “The presidential inauguration is a once-in-a-lifetime thing, and I really don’t think every kid can say they went to the inauguration. ... I’m looking forward to history in the making.”