Inauguration Day honor

Published 9:36 pm Monday, January 14, 2013

When Barack Obama is sworn in next Monday for his second term as president, a King’s Fork Middle School student will be in Washington to experience the event on special invitation.

Seventh-grader Harrison Storms, who has never missed a marking period on his principal’s straight A’s list, has been selected to attend the Middle School Inaugural Conference from Jan. 19-23.

King’s Fork Middle School seventh-grader Harrison Storms will hear from former first daughters about growing up around the corridors of power, when he attends the Middle School Presidential Inaugural Conference in Washington.

“I was kind of happy, because you don’t really get an offer like this every day,” the 12-year-old said of his invitation.

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Storms was afforded the rare opportunity because of his high academic standard and as a result of participating in the National Young Scholars Program in 2010, he said.

The conference schedule starts with a meet-and-greet with fellow middle school participants, followed by addresses from keynote speakers, former first daughters Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara P. Bush, moderated by Norah O’Donnell, CBS News chief White House correspondent.

On Inauguration Day, Storms and his colleagues will enjoy exclusive early access to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. They’ll then attend a “viewing party and celebratory luncheon,” watching as President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden make their way from the Capitol building down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House.

The schedule then involves a range of educational activities and seminars, with titles such as “Introduction to Political Parties and Election Issues” and “Understanding the Vote: The Electoral College.”

Storms said he’s looking forward to all aspects of the four-day event, including an inaugural celebration at Gaylord National Resort featuring Californian pop band Allstar Weekend.

“I think it will actually help me a lot if I want to become the president and go into politics, because the program actually has a seminar talking about all the rules and regulations,” he said.

But Storms isn’t anticipating a career in politics right now. With science his favorite subject, he’s more interested in studying chemistry and mathematics at college for a different kind of career.

“I want to be a chemical engineer when I grow up,” he said.

“It would just be in my skill set, and also because … my great-grandfather was a chemical engineer 50 or so years ago. He was one of the first 50 licensed chemical engineers in the United States.”

Storms is also active with his church youth group, with Boy Scout Troop 30, hosted

by the Bethlehem Ruritan Club, and is in the Peanut City Cloggers.