January 29, 2009

CSHS student, eyewitness to Obama's inauguration

It was a clear, cold day in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2009. The crowd estimated at nearly 2 million began building two days before. An aura of excitement spread through the steadily congesting streets.

Change was coming. History was in the making, and Randy Bittner, an 18-year-old teen from rural North Dakota was there.

Bittner left for the nation’s Capitol on Jan. 17 as a participant in the Presidential Youth Inaugural Conference, a leadership program he first got involved in when he went to Washington, D.C., as part of the Congressional Youth Leadership Conference in October 2007. He was nominated for the CYLC conference by Center-Stanton High School Principal Lyle Krueger on the basis of his leadership abilities.

Because of this participation in the congressional conference, he was invited to the PYIC. Founded in 1985 as a nonpartisan, educational organization, PYIC states at its Web site that it "seeks to identify students with demonstrated leadership potential and a history of academic achievement ... individuals representing a variety of backgrounds and possessing a broad range of interests and goals."

A senior at Center-Stanton High School, Bittner is president of the student council, his 4-H club president, Center FFA vice president, a member of the Oliver County Fair Board and serves on the Oliver County Ambulance Squad. After graduation he plans to get a four-year power plant technology degree at Bismarck State College.

Scott Jung, Bittner’s former U.S. government class instructor, said Randy did well in his clas

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