Heartland school named one of five new Illinois Democracy Schools

Cobden Junior and Senior High School awarded Ill. Democracy School.
Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 2:27 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 14, 2023 at 5:37 PM CST
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COBDEN, Ill. (KFVS) - Working to get their students the experiences and power to become active participants in our democracy.

That’s what one Heartland school is doing as they were just awarded an Illinois Democracy School.

“Today is excitement,” said Grace White, senior at Cobden Junior and Senior High School.

It’s been a goal more than a year in the making for students and faculty at Cobden Junior and Senior High School, becoming an Illinois Democracy School

“It was a very long process, but it was very exciting to be apart of it, getting to work with our teachers and getting to work with our superintendent and with all of our other faculty even though they’re not on the team. We got to interview them and get information, so we could be named a democracy school,” said White.

The Illinois Civic Mission Coalition hands out the awards. They recognize the schools’ efforts to teach students the basics of our country’s democracy, create a positive school climate that supports students feeling socially, emotionally and physically safe, while also increasing volunteerism and work on community issues.

“And it’s so awesome to get to tell the school that we’re now named a democracy school team and it’s just really exciting to show them what we’ve been doing,” said Tess Brummer, a high school senior.

The school is one of five new 2023 Illinois Democracy Schools. The other four are in the Chicagoland area.

“All these big schools are democracy schools because they have so many people and so many higher up people that get to listen to them,” Bummer said. “And since we’re so tiny and almost like insignificant compared to them, we now get to have our voices heard.”

As for the Democracy Team, their teacher said the entire school already represents the award they received.

“It’s not just in my social science classroom, it’s across the curriculum doing service projects, doing simulations, teaching controversial issues, but also volunteering just a number of different principles across the curriculum,” said Jamie Nash-Mayberry, social science teacher at Cobden High School.

Other schools who have received this designation in the past include Marion High School, Du Quoin High School, Carbondale High School, Shawnee High School and now Cobden Jr. and Senior High.

You can find more information on the award here.