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Obama inspires students - Judge calls election ‘an historic and momentous occasion’

New York Supreme Court Justice Deborah A. Dowling told the new student government officers at David A. Boody Middle School (I.S. 228), that the election of Barack Obama as President should inspire them to achieve their highest ambitions.

Dowling drew cheers from the students as she described Obama’s election as “an historic and momentous occasion.” She told the students that she previously had not thought she would see the election of an African-American President in her lifetime. The justice was at the school to join Principal Dominick A. D’Angelo in inducting newly elected student government officers. She urged the students to stay committed to their studies because “without education you can’t do the wonderful things you want to do.”

Dowling recalled that when she was a girl growing up in Brooklyn, “I didn’t think I could make it. I didn’t think I could go to college. I didn’t think I could go to law school. And I certainly didn’t think I could become a justice of the Supreme Court of New York. But I had wonderful teachers and parents who told me, ‘Go on, you can do it!’”

Each of the school’s 39 homeroom classes elected a student president and vice president as part of their Social Studies curriculum. “By voting for their classmates, our students were able to experience the election process first-hand while they were following the presidential election,” said D’Angelo. “Students examined the national election in Social Studies classrooms as well as in other subjects, from studying polling data in Math classes to writing essays in Language Arts.”

“I’m happy that the kids in my class trust me to represent our class in a good way,” said Tyla Dwarica, president of an 8th grade class. Like many of her classmates, Tyla followed this year’s national election closely. “I watched at lot of it on TV when I got home from swim team practice. I watched about Obama’s family and the Sarah Palin interviews and Saturday Night Live.” Raul Puebla, president of a 7th grade class, said holding office meant “I have to know the right thing to do.”

The student officers will encourage and support school spirit, serve as a liaison between the student body and the teachers and administration of I.S. 228, and meet with assistant principals to discuss student concerns. They will also assist homeroom teachers in disseminating information and promoting special grade events.

D’Angelo thanked Dowling for her continued support of I.S. 228. “Justice Dowling was guest speaker at our graduation for the Class of 2008 and has presided over previous Student Inductions and Arista Archon Ceremonies,” D’Angelo said. “She is an inspiration for our students and has earned a special place in the hearts of the David A. Boody family.”

David A. Boody is located at 228 Avenue S in the Gravesend section.

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