Democrats Get B-CC's Vote

Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) won a mock presidential election held last week at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, and students overwhelmingly voted for Democrats in other races, said Brittany Brewer, 17, president of the school's Junior State of America chapter, which organized the election.

Turnout was a slight disappointment, she said. Only 600 of 1,700 students voted over the two-day election, held before, during and after school last Thursday and Friday. Brewer and her fellow organizers handed out "I voted" stickers, though, which were a big draw for a lot of students, she said.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D) also won a substantial majority of votes, as did Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D) and Board of Education President Sharon W. Cox, who is running for reelection to her at-large seat.

Counting votes Monday afternoon, Brewer said she originally hoped to use electronic ballots for the election, but there were too many technical difficulties so they switched to the more cumbersome paper version.

"We didn't want to risk it," she said. "And, yes, we realize it's kind of ironic, considering what's going on around the country."

Peace Garden Created

Deborah Wilchek's peace studies class at Richard Montgomery High School has created a peace garden at Rockville's Elwood Smith Park at Mount Vernon Place and Colonial Court in the Hungerford neighborhood.

Students from last year's class decided on the project, a decision that took a class project off the high school's campus for the first time, and raised most of the money to pay for it. The garden includes a bench donated by the City of Rockville.

"Students take classes, but projects like this are a way for them to give back," Wilchek said in a statement. "This is a way to leave a lasting memory and say nonviolence is a way to solve problems. With all that is happening in the world, we need a place like the Peace Garden where anyone in the city can go."

Wilchek, chairman of the school's English department, started the peace studies class five years ago.

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