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York Institute Awarded Governor’s Civics Seal For Its Work With Students

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
York Institute Awarded Governor’s Civics Seal For Its Work With Students

York Institute honored with the Governor’s Civics Seal, recognizing individual schools and districts that make civics and history a priority.

York Institute Director of Schools John Bush said when he saw the requirements for the seal he realized they were already meeting them. He said getting the seal would not be possible without Student Counseling President Tonya Brow and US Government Instructor Josh Choate.

“You know, sometimes you can go chase that rabbit if you want to, but we really weren’t in the chase, man,” Bush said. “We were living our authentic lives. Like I said, when we saw the criteria, we said Josh is doing these things.”

There are several requirements to qualify for the Governor’s Civic Seal including the meeting state lesson plans, teaching the history and instruction of the nation’s democratic principles. The school must also provide professional development opportunities such as workshops and provide opportunities for students to engage in real-word learning activities and implement project-based assessment.

“When you’re only one of two districts out of 146 districts in the state to receive a certification, that’s pretty special, and it don’t even really matter what it is, but I think it’s even more special when it’s something in regard to civic preparation for our students,” Bush said.

Fifty-nine schools and two districts received the honor. York Institute High School was one of the schools individually recognized. Bush said he thinks the seal honors the school’s namesake Alvin C. York.

“This school is his legacy, and it’s actually what he wanted to be remembered for,” Bush said. “He didn’t want to be remembered as a war hero. He wanted to be remembered for his contribution to education and specifically to the youth of Fentress County. We feel like it’s part of what we should be doing as far as teaching citizenship and civics and making it real for our students.”

Bush said it is important to emphasis a citizen’s civic duty to students.

“Young people will vote if you make the access to it easy for them and un-intimidating and when they can register to vote here at school instead of having to go to the election commission and have to make the effort to go up there,” Bush said. “Also, for them to find out where it actually is and what that building is and what those people actually do. When you take all those unknowns, a lot of young people, well not just young people, people in general, the unknown intimidates them so they just don’t do it”

Governor Bill Lee unveiled the Civic Seal in 2021.


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