By: Gabby Freeman
This year Newnan High School opted out of the traditional paper ballot homecoming nomination. The administration decided to try something new, and all voting for homecoming court was done online.
All students received an email on their Coweta County school email Wednesday morning from Mrs. Kelley Finger, Instructional Coach. This email contained a URL that students could click to follow the link to the voting site.
The Google Form, voting site, asked students for their name, grade and for their two nominees. At this point students were only nominating girls from their individual grades. Students were asked to write the names of the girls they wanted to see on the court.
Mrs. Elizabeth Doster, instructional coach, and Mrs. Finger used Google Forms, a part of the Google apps for education platform, to set up the online ballot. Both Doster and Finger agreed that this app was an easy and customizable way to set up a survey that could be used as a ballot.
They choose to send out an email containing the shortened URL instead of doing QR codes in an effort to get students logging in to their individual gmail accounts.
“We wanted students to understand they could log in from any device and access the same information from anywhere,” Doster explained.
Nominating candidates online had a lot of advantages. Finger said one of those advantages was “the results are very error free. It takes away the human error.”
Mrs. Kristen Aaron, NHS Family and Consumer Science Teacher who is in charge of the homecoming court said ” It makes it easier with counting and keeps teachers from having to give up their planning period to count ballots.”
According to Mrs. Aaron the Google Form will take all the nominations and alphabetize them by first in last name. This ensured that if any names were misspelled then they would still be counted.
Another advantage is that “Online voting gives students the option to vote or not and keeps us from having to take away instructional time to vote,” Doster commented. By voting online it was students who really wanted to vote and participate.
Voting online allowed all students to nominate girls even if the students were not physically on campus which made it more convenient for all students but especially students who had CEC, dual enrollment or who happened to miss advisement.
Finger said that she received several emails from CEC students expressing their gratitude for making them feel included. Students remarked that they appreciated the online voting.
“The homecoming voting this year was a more efficient and productive way to vote. It gave students the freedom to vote any time they pleased ,that day, and eliminated the hassle of counting hundreds of sheets of paper,” Mary Douglass Hallman, NHS senior, said.
Mrs. Aaron, Mrs. Finger and Mrs. Doster feel like it was s successful election process and digital conversion. All three reported that there was a steady stream at lunch and a large amount of participation.
Ideally, Mrs. Aaron would like to have 2/3 of the student population voting and becoming more involved in determining who will represent NHS on homecoming court.
The plan is to continue to use Google Forms for the rest of the homecoming court voting and potentially other future school voting activities. The second round of voting was Tuesday, September 22nd, and the next voting round was opened with another email sent out to students through Google Forms on their CCSS email accounts.
The second round will have 16 seniors, 12 juniors, 8 sophomores and 4 freshmen on the ballot. Each student will only be able to vote for girls that are in their grade. Then court will be announced. The final court will consist of 8 seniors, 6 juniors, 4 sophomores and 4 freshmen.
The vote for senior homecoming queen will take place closer to the Homecoming game date of October 16th. Mrs. Aaron plans to put pictures in the cafeteria of the senior girls so students can have an idea of who they are voting for.
Students should keep checking your email on a regular basis for emails about homecoming and about other school activities.