NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Two Wilson County high schools, Friendship Christian School and Mt Juliet Christian Academy earned the Secretary of State's Anne Dallas Dudley Gold Level Award by registering 100% of the eligible students who are 18 or older to vote.
"Our office initiated the Anne Dallas Dudley Award program to recognize the high schools that have prioritized the voter registration of their students," said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. "Congratulations to the students, faculty and staff of Friendship Christian School and Mt Juliet Christian Academy and the Wilson County Election Commission for reaching 100% voter registration."
The Secretary of State's office launched the Anne Dallas Dudley Award program for the 2021-2022 school year to promote voter registration among Tennessee high school students. High schools that register 100% of the eligible students earn the Anne Dallas Dudley Gold Level Award. High schools that register at least 85% of the eligible students earn the Anne Dallas Dudley Silver Level Award.
“We are proud that 100% of eligible students at Friendship Christian School and Mt Juliet Christian Academy registered to vote this year,” said Wilson County Administrator of Elections Tammy Smith. “Being registered and voting for the first time, hopefully, will begin a lifelong tradition of voting in every election. The right to vote is fundamental to the future of our county, state and nation.”
All Tennessee public, charter or private school or home school association can participate in the Anne Dallas Dudley Award program. This year 18 Tennessee high schools in 12 counties earned the Anne Dallas Dudley Gold Level Award. Eighteen high schools representing 13 counties earned the Anne Dallas Dudley Silver Level Award.
“The Anne Dallas Dudley award was a great opportunity for our students to apply what they have studied and served as a fitting reminder of the importance of their civic duty," said Friendship Christian School teacher Chis Link. Our students were excited to get registered so they could take part in Tennessee’s elections this year. We hope this inspires them to take part in our democracy by making voting a priority as they move on from high school."
The award is named in honor of renowned Tennessee suffragist Anne Dallas Dudley who helped lead the successful effort to get the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution ratified. On Aug. 18, 1920, Tennessee became the 36th and final state needed to give women the right to vote.
“It is an honor for Mount Juliet Christian Academy to be a recipient of the Anne Dallas Dudley Gold Award,” said Mount Juliet Christian Academy Upper School social studies teacher Dan Davis. “We appreciate the work of the Secretary of State's office, and we want to thank all of those who are a part of this award.”
The Anne Dallas Dudley Award is part of the Secretary of State's civics engagement initiative to increase voter registration in Tennessee and prepare students to be actively engaged citizens. For more information about the Anne Dallas Dudley Award and other civic engagement efforts from the Tennessee Department of State, visit sos.tn.gov/civics.