Students vote — but not for president

Jessica Coker
Mayor Seevers with the nine winners, from left, Cooper Stanford, Lindsay Bouck, Eliza Scoper, Ethan Eubanks, Katie Shoumaker, Parker Seagle, Dylan Chen, Devin Politte and Matti Hart.

The third grade students have cast their votes and the results are in at Destin Elementary School. The students have never voted for their peers before, so this was new territory for the young Dolphins. On Thursday, Oct. 25, all nine of the third grade classes of Destin Elementary School gathered in the multi-purpose room to hear the results of the election for the first time. Rather than choosing an American or class president, the students were tasked with choosing who, in each class, they thought would be the best representative of someone with civic virtues. "Civility, kindness, respect, cooperation and responsibility, those are the characteristics they had to take into consideration when choosing one of their fellow classmates for this position," said Susan Luttrell, a third grade teacher at DES. Luttrell said the third grade classes have been studying government lately, national and local, and all of the qualities that it takes to be a leader so they understood what they were looking for in a "candidate." Destin's Mayor Sarah "Sam" Seevers was at the school, broken arm and all, to publicly announce the nine winners for the first time and present them with their awards and some valuable mayoral advice. "Respect is always important, especially in government," said Seevers. She then spoke of the importance of explaining your position to voters and fellow politicians, holding the attention of the eight and nine year olds the entire time. Then came the moment of truth as the mayor began to read the results: From Donna Barton's class Cooper Stanford;  Robin Baily's class Lindsay Bouck; Amy Vest's class Eliza Scoper; Amanda Cook's class Ethan Eubanks; Jean Cannon's class Katie Shoumaker; Tish Ault's class Parker Seagle; Susan Luttrell's class Dylan Chen; Tracy Steely's class Devin Politte and Laywanna Dykes class Matti Hart. Third grader Parker Seagle from Ms. Ault's class tells The Log he has been a Destin resident his whole life. He said he is excited that he won the civic virtue title. He also loves to play sports, "baseball, golf and basketball are my favorites," said Seagle.