History students take part in historical forum | NevadaAppeal.com

History students take part in historical forum

Teri Vance
Appeal Staff Writer

Hosting the nation’s second Democratic caucus, Nevada has been thrust into the forefront of the political arena.

With that distinction comes a lot of firsts. On Wednesday, the first major candidates’ forum of the 2008 race was held in Carson City.

While many consider it a novelty, history and government teacher Pamela McMullan sees it as an opportunity.

“This is living history,” she said. “It’s live education.”

McMullan and fellow Pioneer High School teacher Julie Gabica brought 18 students to the overflow room at the Nevada Appeal, where candidates visited and spoke with guests.

“It makes everything we do in the classroom real,” McMullan said.

The ultimate exam, however, will be at the polls, and whether students take the information they’ve learned in class and from the candidates and transform it into a vote.

Nicholas Perez, 18, is ahead of the curve. He turned 18 in July and voted in November’s midterm election.

“The presidential election coming up is going to be a big deal for me,” he said. “I want to put my part in it.”

With the West’s increased role in the race for president, Perez said, each individual also carries increased responsibility.

“One person does make a difference,” he said. “If they didn’t, nobody would vote.”

Randy Perry, 17, wanted to hear what the candidates had to say about the war in Iraq. “We need to get (troops) out of Iraq as soon as possible without causing a bunch of havoc,” she said.

Laura Muñoz, 17, added, “I have family members over there. Bring them home.”

Each of the candidates echoed the students’ sentiments, but perhaps none so vehemently as Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio. In a pep-rally style, he called out, “What’s this war really about?”

The crowd called back, “Oil!”

“I can’t hear you!”




Beyond issues and party affiliation, McMullan said, she hopes students took away a larger message.

“Hopefully, it will have some sort of impact on them and after high school they’ll be politically inclined to get involved in their community,” she said.

• Contact reporter Teri Vance at tvance@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1272.