Cy-Fair ISD teachers get high school seniors to the polls

November 12, 2018

Seventy-eight Cy-Fair ISD students voted for the first time this election season due to the efforts of their teachers.

Eligible students from Cypress Falls High School and Cypress Woods High School were taken to Juergen’s Hall to vote for the first time on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, during their government and economics classes, according to a CFISD press release. Between the two trips, organized by teachers Leah Stephanow and Michael White at Cypress Woods, and James Parrish and Kathleen Vargas at Cypress Falls, 78 students were able to vote during the early voting period.

Parrish said it is the responsibility of students to cast their vote. The trip was optional for students old enough to vote, as some students preferred to vote with their parents, according to the press release. Both sets of teachers said they plan to make trips for students to vote in the future.

“Voting is key to our civic participation,” Parrish said in the press release. “I wish everyone in our country expressed their right to vote, but I wanted students to understand how important it is.”

Chaperoning teachers addressed any student concerns, explained the press release, but also gave students space to experience the process themselves. School officials reported that no issues occurred and Cypress Woods students were given a questionnaire afterwards to express their feelings on the process.

In the past, CFISD students have been encouraged to vote by teachers. In 2016, Stephanow took several students to vote.

“We took about 50 kids throughout the day, and they were very excited to go their first time,” Stephanow said in the press release. “They talked about how fun it was, they got really excited when we drove up to the early voting location, and there were lots of people in line. They got all excited to see people coming out to vote.”

Cypress Woods senior Catie Orwin said the experience was a chance to share an important experience with friends.

“In my class, I have two really close childhood friends in there, so I thought it would be a really cool experience to vote for the first time with people I grew up with from elementary school,” she said. “On top of that, it forced me to go out and vote.”


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