SHS student will witness history at inauguration
In years to come, people will remember where they were when Barack Obama was officially sworn in as president. When Superior High School student Tim Mahan is asked where he was, he'll have the best answer of all:...
In years to come, people will remember where they were when Barack Obama was officially sworn in as president. When Superior High School student Tim Mahan is asked where he was, he'll have the best answer of all:
"I'll be able to say I was there."
Mahan, a junior, was invited to attend this year's presidential inauguration after attending the National Youth Leadership Forum on National Security as a sophomore.
"That was in February of last year," Mahan said. "When we were there, at the very end we found out that everyone who is there is getting invited to go to the presidential inauguration through PYIC, the Presidential Youth Inauguration Conference. So that's how I ended up being able to go."
The conference runs from Jan. 17-21. Mahan will fly to Washington D.C. by himself Saturday, where he will check in at the airport and be bussed with the rest of his group to his assigned hotel.
In addition to attending the inauguration ceremony and parade, Mahan will hear keynote speakers including Colin Powell and Al Gore. Leadership activities and a gala ball are also planned. For the gala, Mahan said Daughtry is scheduled to perform.
"We'll have scholar debates about the issues that went on with the campaign," Mahan said. "What happened last time was we're put into a group and we create a campaign strategy. I'm assuming that's what we'll do (this time) because it's been done in the last couple (conferences).
"I'm just going to see what happens."
Jaclynn Olson, who teaches social studies at Superior High School, originally nominated Mahan to attend National Youth Leadership Forum as a sophomore. She taught him in both ninth and tenth grade.
"He's had an active interest in history and in government that was obvious from just the first few days of class," Olson said.
Students nominated to attend the forum must attain a certain GPA and possess leadership qualities that set them apart. About 300 students from across the U.S. attended the National Youth Leadership Forum on National Security.
"I met a lot of different people last time, and I still talk to some of them," Mahan said. "You meet people from all over the country and see what their views are on different things."
When Olson later learned Mahan would be attending the inauguration, she was overjoyed for him.
"I said, if you could pick an inauguration to go to, this would be it," Olson said. "And he has the background in history to appreciate that. He understands how important this inauguration is as such a step forward in our country's growth."
Olson added that it is a positive reflection on SHS that students are given the opportunity to take part in such events.
Mahan keeps busy at SHS. He plays football and golf and is a member of the swim team. He will actually be missing a swim meet Saturday, but Coach George Lehman said he would excuse Mahan this time -- he has a pretty good excuse. Mahan is also involved in student council, youth leadership and FBLA.
"He's definitely a person who's up for a challenge," Olson said. "He seems willing to take on anything. He's really a neat kid and a great student."
Politics have always interested Mahan, but he is not yet sure if he wishes to become a politician. He said it remains a possibility.
But could he see himself running for president 20 years from now?
"No, I don't want to be one of the most hated people in the country," Mahan said, laughing.