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KENLY— Adult voters choosing candidates in municipal races Nov. 5 weren’t the only ones taking part in the voting process as all students at Glendale-Kenly Elementary School had an opportunity to vote for the school’s Wildcat mascot’s name.
A ballot box was set up in the hallway outside the cafeteria and students were able to come by on the way to and from lunch and vote for their choices.
Every student got to vote and each member of the faculty voted as well.
Choices appearing on the ballot as decided earlier during the week by popular vote in each grade were PAWS, an acronym for Positively Awesome Wildcat School and the kindergarten classes’ choice; Theodore, first grade; Wiley, second grade; Lucky, third grade; Simba, fourth grade; and TACO, an acronym for Terrific Academics, Character and Opportunity, fifth grade.
Seven-year-old Sammy J. Varnam, a member of Laura Schultz’s first grade class, voted for the name Simba because “I like Simba in the Lion King,” Sammy said.
Dakota Chapin, a student in Rebecca Walls’ fourth grade class said she voted for the name Lucky because she figured it would bring good luck.
“Voting on the name of the mascot on the same day as the general election was designed to give the children a voting experience like their parents have,” said PTA President Donna Price.
Price said the mascot-naming contest was prompted by the PTA recently purchasing the new Glendale-Kenly Wildcats mascot outfit.
As announced on the intercom Nov. 6, the name Wiley prevailed in the school-wide vote.
Among Wiley the Wildcat’s first duties will be to ride in the school’s Kenly Christmas Parade entry — a golf cart Principal Cole Yarborough will drive — on Dec. 5, followed by an appearance during Christmas on Main festivities in downtown Kenly on Dec. 6-7.
“We have a very supportive PTA at Glendale-Kenly whose main mission is helping support the education of our children,” Yarborough said. “Our students were very excited to participate in the election and it is my hope this carries into a group of active citizens who understand the importance in participating in elections.”