Jenks High School Students Had Eyes On History Using Inauguration As Lesson


Wednesday, January 20th 2021, 6:26 pm
By: Amy Slanchik


JENKS, Okla. -

As the eyes of the nation and the world were on Washington Wednesday for President Joe Biden’s inauguration, students at Jenks High School were watching the historic moment too.

As President Joe Biden gave his inaugural speech, high school juniors watched and listened as history unfolded.  

"What does he promise? What do I notice about this inauguration? Does this one look different from other inaugurations? And number three, what do I think about all this?” U.S. History teacher Heather Reilly asked her students.  

Reilly kept her students engaged with the activity, which she said was not graded. Some students kept quiet as they wrote down their thoughts. Others, like Lindsay Ashford, shared with the class their observations from the inauguration.  

"Everyone that spoke didn't say anything about the past four years or didn't mention Trump. They just kind of talked about, this is a new beginning,” Lindsay Ashford said.  

Ashford said she appreciates her teacher's neutral approach to leading classroom discussions.  

"So she makes sure not to have any bias. And in that class, all of us have different views, and she makes sure to bring those all together,” Ashford said.  

Especially on this historic day, Reilly recognized her unique leadership role, as someone who teaches U.S. History.  

"I think it's been my job to kind of say, 'We've actually been here before. We've been in difficult situations before. People have survived history before. And it's been my role, we're gonna be OK. We're gonna be OK,” she said.  

While some classes watched the inauguration live, Reilly said she also replayed Biden's inauguration speech later in the day for her other classes.