Mother Mary students prepared for inauguration

At Mother Mary School in Phenix City, students began preparing for Inauguration Day last week.

Each grade was assigned a different area of government and during a morning program students explained the importance of the president’s cabinet.

Some students also presented scrapbooks of Barack Obama.

Jarrett Levins, 11, created a scrapbook of Obama and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

“The scrapbook showed how he and Martin Luther King are the same and different,” Jarrett said.

The sixth grader was excited about Obama taking office.

“He’s someone you can look up to as a hero,” Jarrett said. “But he has to do his job and we have to do ours.”Instead of wearing uniforms, students dressed as if they were attending the inauguration.

“He’s going to make a change for the world,” said 8-year-old Chandler Stephens, a second grader. “I feel happy he’s going to be in the White House.”

Sister Cecelia Harrison, principal of the school, feels a special connection to the new president, because of her mixed ancestry.

“I can associated very much with Obama,” said Harrison, who is from Jamaica. “Like Mr. Obama, I am multiracial.”

One of Harrison’s grandfathers was from Scotland and married a woman from Jamaica. Her other grandfather was Jewish and married a Jewish-Italian woman.

“I thank God I’m multiracial,” she said. “It makes you aware of the big picture.”

Harrison said she is excited about Obama taking office because it sets an example for her students who are in pre-K through 8th grade.

“I’ve told them time and time again they could become whatever they put their minds to with dedication, learning and discipline,” she said.

Harrison met Obama when he came to Columbus as the speaker for the Black History Observance Breakfast.

“I asked him to come and visit Mother Mary and he told me he would,” she said, adding she was going to find a way to remind him.