NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Unaka High School 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.
"Congratulations to Unaka High School for earning our Anne Dallas Dudley Gold Award by reaching 100% voter registration," said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. "The commitment to civic engagement shown by Unaka High’s students, faculty and staff and the Carter County Election Commission is inspiring.”
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.
“I’m so proud of Unaka High School achieving Gold Level for the Anne Dallas Dudley Award and getting 100% of the eligible students registered to vote,” said Carter County Administrator of Elections Tracy Tanner-Harris. “This is an amazing school with a wonderful staff that takes pride in their school and each other. Several of Unaka’s students have helped in many elections. They are a great group of teenagers.”
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.
"I want to thank the Secretary of State's office, Unaka High School Counselor Mrs. Lisa McGinnis and the senior class representatives for their hard work and help in reaching out to our students on the importance of voting and getting them registered," said Unaka High School Principal Dr. Sharon Necessary. “With current county elections, our students are now excited about fulfilling their civic duty by voting and having a voice in our local community."
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.
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.