Harrisburg — The Pennsylvania departments of state and education recently announced that North East High School is among 42 high schools in the commonwealth that have won Governor’s Civic Engagement Awards (GCEA) for registering to vote 4,035 eligible students in the 2019-20 school year.
North East High School won a Silver Level Award for registering to vote between 65 and 84 percent of its eligible students. It’s the only school in Erie County to merit a Governor’s Civic Engagement Award.
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.
“I am very pleased to see the growing popularity of this three-year-old program that encourages peer-to-peer civic education and participation as poll workers and voters,” said Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar.
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.
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.