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High School Civic Engagement Award Program Sees Significant Growth in 2020


Harrisburg, PA — The Pennsylvania Departments of State and Education announced today that 42 high schools in the commonwealth won Governor's Civic Engagement Awards (GCEA) for registering to vote 4,035 eligible students in the 2019-20 school year. Nearly 160 schools participated in the program.

The GCEA program encourages Pennsylvania high school students to participate in elections by voting, organizing voter registration drives and volunteering as poll workers. Students are eligible to register if they are 18 years of age or will turn 18 on or before the date of the next primary, special, municipal or general election. 

"Congratulations to the schools and individual students who won this prestigious award. By engaging and registering our youngest eligible voters, they are strengthening the future of our democracy," Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said. "I am very pleased to see the growing popularity of this 3-year-old program that encourages peer-to-peer civic education and participation as poll workers and voters."

During this school year, which was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic, 2 ½ times more schools participated and nearly twice as many schools won awards than last year.

In the 2018-19 school year, 63 high schools participated in the GCEA program, 23 schools won awards, and 3,019 eligible students were registered to vote. In the first year of the program, 16 high schools earned awards and 2,955 eligible students were registered to vote. 

"Pennsylvania students are civic-minded and care about the future of their communities," Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera said. "Registering to vote is a critical step to having their voices heard, and I'm proud that so many students are prepared to exercise their right to vote."

This year's 42 winning schools are in 23 counties across the commonwealth, plus one statewide charter school. PA Virtual Charter School is the first virtual school to earn a GCEA award.

Twenty-four schools earned Gold Level Awards for registering to vote at least 85 percent of their eligible students. Three schools won the Gold Level Award for the third year in a row: Carlisle High School in Cumberland County and Northwest Area Junior/Senior High School and Wyoming Valley West High School in Luzerne County

Eighteen schools earned Silver Level Awards for registering to vote between 65 percent and 84 percent of their eligible students.

The winning schools are listed by county below:

CountySchool NameLevel Award% Registered
AlleghenyBrentwood High SchoolGold90%
AlleghenyDeer Lakes High SchoolSilver73%
AlleghenyElizabeth Forward High SchoolSilver68%
AlleghenyCity Charter High SchoolSilver65.70%
ArmstrongLeechburg Middle/Senior High School Gold86%
BerksConrad Weiser high School Gold90%
BucksMorrisville High SchoolSilver73%
CambriaWestmont Hilltop Junior/Senior High SchoolSilver66.35%
ChesterConestoga High SchoolSilver69%
ChesterDowningtown STEM AcademySilver67%
CumberlandCarlisle High SchoolGold86%
CumberlandBoiling Springs High SchoolSilver68%
DelawareHaverford High SchoolGold87.23
DelawareThe Academy of Notre Dame de NamurGold85%
ErieNorth East High SchoolSilver69%
FranklinFannett-Metal High SchoolGold85%
Jefferson; ElkBrockway Area Junior/Senior High SchoolGold87.14%
LancasterGarden Spot High SchoolSilver66%
LawrenceUnion Area High SchoolGold86%
LehighBuilding 21 AllentownGold88%
LehighMoravian AcademySilver67%
LuzerneNorthwest Area Junior/Senior High SchoolGold85%
LuzerneWyoming Valley West High SchoolGold85.30%
LuzerneDallas High SchoolSilver67%
LuzerneElmer L. Meyers Jr Sr High SchoolSilver65%
LycomingSouth Williamsport Area High School
MercerSharpsville Area High SchoolGold87%
MercerGreenville Junior/Senior High SchoolGold86.70%
MontgomeryAIM AcademyGold88%
PhiladelphiaFriends Select SchoolGold100%
PhiladelphiaMurrell Dobbins CTE High SchoolGold96.80%
PhiladelphiaArts Academy at Benjamin RushGold94%
PhiladelphiaCentral High SchoolGold89.61%
PhiladelphiaParkway Northwest High School For Peace and Social JusticeGold88%
PhiladelphiaGirard Academic Music ProgramGold86.90%
PhiladelphiaBodine High School for International AffairsSilver70.87%
VenangoCranberry Area Junior/Senior High SchoolGold91%
WashingtonTrinity High SchoolSilver66.04%
WestmorelandMt. Pleasant Area Junior/Senior High SchoolGold89%
WestmorelandFranklin Regional High SchoolSilver70%
Westmoreland; ArmstrongKiski Area High SchoolSilver66.70%
StatewidePA Virtual Charter SchoolSilver66.80%

In addition, 12 students from seven counties won individual GCEA awards. They were nominated by educators at their schools for being leaders in student voter registration and for their service as poll workers on election day in November 2019.

Regional recognition events for the winners were cancelled due to the COVID-19 emergency. Instead, individual and school winners will receive their awards in the mail.   

MEDIA CONTACT:  Wanda Murren, 717-783-1621


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