LeBlanc student earns way to inauguration

By By Nichole Osinski / American Press

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.”