Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate announces 18 schools qualified for the Carrie Chapman Catt Award for the 2019-20 school year. The award is given to schools that register at least 90 percent of their eligible students to vote.
Secretary Pate created the award last September to encourage voter registration in high schools and to promote the new state law that allows 17-year-olds to register and to participate in primary elections.
“I want to congratulate the 18 schools that stepped up and got at least 90% of their eligible students to register to vote during this school year,” Secretary Pate said. “That is a remarkable achievement and shows true dedication on behalf of principals, teachers, and most importantly, the students.”
Here is a list of the schools that qualified for the Carrie Chapman Catt Award. Each school will be honored during a formal trophy presentation at a later time.
Carrie Chapman Catt Award winners
Isaac Newton Christian Academy (Cedar Rapids, IA)
Rivermont Collegiate (Bettendorf, IA)
South Page High School (College Springs, IA)
St. Mary’s High School (Storm Lake, IA)
Valley Lutheran School (Cedar Falls, IA)
Lone Tree High School (Lone Tree, IA)
Pella Christian High School (Pella, IA)
Ballard High School (Huxley, IA)
Walnut Creek Campus (West Des Moines, IA)
Notre Dame Catholic High School (Burlington, IA)
Fort Madison High School (Fort Madison, IA)
Norwalk High School (Norwalk, IA)
Woodward-Granger High School (Woodward, IA)
Newman Catholic High School (Mason City, IA)
Baxter High School (Baxter, IA)
Nashua-Plainfield High School (Nashua, IA)
Prairie High School (Cedar Rapids, IA)
Urbandale High School (Urbandale, IA)
Along with those 18 schools, 10 more registered at least 70 percent of eligible students and will receive a commemorative banner recognizing their achievement. Nine more schools registered at least 50 percent of eligible students and will receive a personalized certificate from the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office.
Schools that registered at least 70% of eligible students
Ottumwa High School (Ottumwa, IA)
Charles City High School (Charles City, IA)
Central Lyon High School (Rock Rapids, IA)
Lynnville-Sully High School (Sully, IA)
Riceville High School (Riceville, IA)
Murray Community High School (Murray, IA)
Clear Lake High School (Clear Lake, IA)
East Mills High School (Hastings, IA)
Martensdale-St. Marys High School (Martensdale, IA)
Logan-Magnolia High School (Logan, IA)
Schools that registered at least 50% of eligible students
Garner-Hayfield-Ventura High School (Garner, IA)
Cardinal High School (Eldon, IA)
Clear Creek-Amana High School (Tiffin, IA)
Davis County Community High School (Bloomfield, IA)
Tri-Center High School (Neola, IA)
Dike-New Hartford High School (Dike, IA)
Pleasant Valley High School (Bettendorf, IA)
Mid-Prairie High School (Wellman, IA)
Dallas Center-Grimes High School (Grimes, IA)
The Carrie Chapman Catt Award is named after the famous Iowan who successfully fought for passage of the 19th Amendment, granting women the ability to vote throughout the U.S.
Secretary Pate extends his thanks and praise to the YMCA Youth and Government and Inspire2Vote for their assistance with this initiative. They helped register nearly 4,000 Iowa students to vote during the 2019-20 school year.
Quotes from teachers/school administrators
“Baxter High School is incredibly excited to win the Carrie Chapman Catt Award. This award demonstrates the importance of civic responsibility to our community. We are incredibly proud of the senior class of 2020 for showing perseverance, leadership, and an understanding that voting is as important as ever,” said Joe Amadeo, social studies teacher & student council advisor at Baxter High School.
“Rivermont Collegiate was proud to participate in the statewide youth straw polls and voter-registration drive. Though we are a small and international school, we believe in the importance of participatory democracy and were happy that the state of Iowa provided an opportunity for our young people to experience the voting and voter-registration process,” said Collin Lawrence, director of student and residential life at Rivermont Collegiate.
“Your Vote, Your Voice. The Burlington Notre Dame Graduating Class of 2020 is faithfully pledged to vote in this year’s election because: faith by itself, if it does not have deeds, is dead,” said Judi Simon, the preK-12 assistant principal.
“Between my government and history classes, the struggle for voting rights has fascinated me. Perhaps because my own grandmothers were born around the time women earned the right to vote or perhaps because of my education in the social studies and the journeys varying groups have made to achieve political equality, I have always prioritized voting rights in my classroom. If nothing else, I want my students to remember that a vote equals a voice. I want their voice heard. They deserve to have their voice heard,” said Linsay Hall, social studies teacher at Valley Lutheran School.
“Prairie High School is the only school of our size to receive this prestigious award. This speaks volumes of our students at Prairie High School and their dedication to civic activism and strong sense of responsibility to our country and community,” said Vanessa Kelley, high school government teacher & student council advisor at Prairie High School.
“Isaac Newton Christian Academy was honored to offer the opportunity for our students to become registered voters. We are proud of our students’ strong sense of citizenship and their ability to think critically about the issues. We are so grateful that they can express their voices in upcoming elections,” said Lorraine Potter, college & career counselor at Isaac Newton Christian Academy.
“We feel it is essential for students to learn how to participate in their communities and one of the best ways to be involved is by participating in elections. Students at Urbandale, created a non-partisan Political Action Club to help encourage students to learn about politics and ways to get involved. Registering students to vote was the 1st major project this club had its sights on. By registering our seniors, students were also able to talk to seniors about the importance of participating in the Iowa Caucus and ultimately, upcoming elections this June and November,” said Anne La Pietra, the high school social studies teacher at Urbandale High School.
“The Carrie Chapman Catt Award provided our students with an opportunity to come together to work towards a common goal. We spent the entire month of January promoting voter registration and learning about the election process at all phases in all of our Advisory classes. We even held a mock chili caucus using both parties methods of tabulating results. I am very proud of our seniors for using this opportunity to become part of the process. When I had Seniors coming to me to ask if I could help them register to vote, I knew our work had been successful. We look forward to continuing to motivate students to register and vote in all of our elections,” said Alex Hammer, social studies teacher at Walnut Creek Campus.
“Since 2020 was the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote, I felt that it was important to participate in this initiative and to actively encourage students to register to vote leading into the 2020 presidential campaign. This also provided an additional opportunity for the students to learn about Iowans in history, the women’s suffrage movement and how their participation in politics is important,” said Mike Ehlers, Fort Madison U.S. history and American government teacher.
“My students are very active in their community. They have seen first hand the benefits of volunteerism and know active participation in the political process is equally important. Due to their excitement in the election process, they eagerly registered to vote, researched candidates, participated in the Iowa caucuses, and are awaiting the June 2 primary and Election Day. They know an engaged citizenry is essential to local, state, and national politics and community improvement. I am positive they will continue to make a positive impact as adults,” said Barbara Baumgardner, high school government and economics teacher at Ballard High School.
“Lone Tree High School is very excited to achieve the Carrie Chapman Catt Award. As a rural high school, it is important to get as many citizens prepared and involved as possible, and that begins with voting. It is no small honor to know that our students will be integral to both statewide and local elections and policies. We appreciate the help the Secretary of State’s office gave us in linking these seniors to their civic duties,” said Mick Dickinson, high school social studies teacher at Lone Tree High School.
“I did not hesitate to get on board with the Secretary of State’s voter registration initiative to register at least 90-percent of our eligible student body. In my Government class, I emphasize the importance of citizen participation in a democracy and stress voting as an obligation to the security of our freedom and democratic process. I had a lot of fun in the process of registering our eligible study body to vote,” said Lindsay Nuehring, technology director at Newman Catholic High School.
“As a former intern at the Carrie Chapman Catt Girlhood Home and current teacher at Nashua-Plainfield High School, located only 6 miles away, I am so proud that our student body has chosen to honor Catt’s legacy by registering to vote, a right that she spent her life fighting to expand,” said Katherine Ortmayer, English teacher at Nashua-Plainfield High School.
“The Norwalk Student Council believes that hearing new voices is very important, both in our school and our community. By registering as many people as possible to vote, our voices are heard,” said Eva Newland, student body president at Norwalk High School.
“We talk about civic duties a lot and what it means to be a “Good Citizen.” Part of being a good citizen is actively participating in your local and national government and caring about who is elected into office,” said Greg Wojczynski, vice principal of Pella Christian High School.
“I think this program was a great way to make our students aware of their civic responsibilities. It gives them real world experience to set them up to be active participants in future elections. South Page is proud to be a Carrie Chapman Award recipient. A benefit to being a small school is the ability to allow all students to play a role in the process,” said Alyssa Biery, social studies teacher at South Page High School.
“St. Mary’s School is excited to see its high school students willing and eager to live out this important civic duty, and we thank the Secretary of State’s Office for organizing and encouraging this valuable opportunity,” said Kate Swanson, the social studies teacher at St. Mary’s High School.
“When I heard about the Carrie Chapman Catt Award, I knew this was a chance for students to see first hand exactly how much impact they could have on their own futures. The great thing, I think, about this award is that it’s not about Republicans or Democrats or any political party, it’s about getting students involved in the political process. One of the things I am very passionate about when it comes to teaching government is to make sure that students hear from all sides of an issue, so that they can learn to form their own political opinions. This was a great chance for our students to learn how to get involved and learn about this process,” said Andrew Hopper, social studies teacher at Woodward-Granger High School.