DMCS' own Dennis Gonnerman was recognized by Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate for organizing Des Moines Christian School's participation in the statewide Iowa Youth Straw Poll for the 2016 general election. 7th - 12th-grade students voted on their choice of the 2016 general election candidates. The results were totaled with results from other Iowa schools and reported on the Secretary of State's website. Mr. Gonnerman registered DMCS to include our students' voices in the statewide straw poll and as a result of this effort, students received a unique civic education experience.
Because of the leadership from Iowa teachers like Mr. Gonnerman, the Iowa Youth Straw Poll was nationally recognized this year, winning the National Association of State Boards of Education Award for Outstanding Leadership in Voter Education from the National Parent Student Mock Election. Additionally, the social media campaign, #IAparticipate, was a national top 5 finalist for a government social media award.
Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate sent Mr. Gonnerman a congratulatory certificate for his part in making the Iowa Youth Straw Poll nationally recognized.
"My thanks to all the teachers and school administrators who helped make the Iowa Youth Straw Polls a huge success," said Paul Pate, Iowa Secretary of State. "More than 250 schools and 56,000 students participated statewide. We could not have done this without the efforts of teachers. The Youth Straw Poll was a fun, hands-on learning experience for students across the state that hopefully will encourage them to become engaged in civics in their community."
The Iowa Youth Straw Polls were the culmination of Caucus 101 and Elections 101, free online social studies curricula developed by Secretary Pate and written by Iowa teachers for Iowa students.