Thirty-one Vermont residents became naturalized U.S. citizens after they took the Oath of Allegiance during a special session of U.S. District Court at Milton High School on Monday, Jan. 7.
Principal Anne Blake said hosting the ceremony was an honor.
“Students can read about citizenship in books, or they can kind of see it happen in real life.
“We wanted it to be as relevant as possible,” she continued, which is why administrators took the opportunity when it was offered by Milton resident Shelley Goodwin, the associate regional director of the northeast offices of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Goodwin said the lessons students can glean from witnessing a naturalization ceremony are relevant to high school curriculum.
“It’s really important for the students to understand how richly diverse we are as a nation and how that diversity has created the fabric of our nation,” Goodwin said. “Our politics and our government, our social services, our education – [it's important for students to understand] how much of that is impacted by our immigrant community and how much we grow as a nation as a result of that.”
AP U.S. Government & History students, as well as Boy Scouts from Troops 631 and 603 and music students all helped make the ceremony special by reciting poetry, serving as the Color Guard and playing and singing patriotic tunes. The auditorium as well as the gymnasium was made available so all high school students could witness the ceremony, as well as family and friends of the new Americans.
People who took the Oath of Allegiance that day hailed from 22 different nations, includingCanada, the United Kingdom, Moldova and Peru.