WASHINGTON, D.C.-- President Trump's inauguration served as a hands-on civics lesson for some Northeast Ohio high school students. They were in Washington to watch Donald Trump take the oath of office to become our 45th president.
Even before the sun rose over the United States Capitol Friday morning, several high school students from Northeast Ohio were already claiming their spot to witness the inauguration.
"We were right directly in front of the stage in the very first area where you could stand, so we had some great sight lines," said Michael Chaffee, principal of Newbury High School.
Students from the school in Geauga County sent Fox 8 photos from the trip they took to Washington, with students from Lordstown High in Trumbull County. After spending several days visiting museums and monuments, they witnessed the exchange of power from one U.S. president to the next.
"We were so close I could see it, but we definitely lucked out, but it was just so cool that you could see the coming down and then you could look over to the screen and then you could see them in closer detail," said Newbury High School senior Grace Wright.
Ten of the 17 students from Newbury began the election cycle witnessing the Iowa Caucuses. They say experiencing the presidential election process firsthand from start to finish taught them more than they could ever learn in a classroom.
"What I thought it was before was just, ok...there's two people in the election and whoever gets the most votes wins and, I didn't even realize like going back from Iowa that there was a full process of primaries and all the caucuses and it's a whole complex ordeal and you have to get through step by step to actually get to the presidency," said senior Kevin Piczer.
"One of the thrills for me on this trip is just hearing them have respectful discussion about, about policies and debates while we were riding around on the bus," said Chaffee.
"When you're in a classroom, you don't really get the feel of all the people around you and everything that's going on, but when you're at the inauguration, you have people around you and there's all the adrenaline of the president and I think it is just so much cooler that you could see it in person," said Wright.