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Mayor Paints Picture of Local Government for Arlington Fifth Graders

Fifth graders at Arlington Elementary got a firsthand look at local government through the eyes of special guest Mayor Linda Gorton. “In Lexington, I’m the leader,” she told students gathered in the library. “I make sure the government runs every day, and our total focus is to serve people who live in the city.”

Janet Parker, the gifted resources teacher and project-based learning (PBL) coach at Arlington, invited the mayor as a follow-up to a recent unit. Classes had studied the three branches and three levels of government, and they followed Gorton’s campaign and the election process. “I hope they get a sense of the mayor’s importance and a current-day perspective of what an ordinary person can do,” Parker said.

In a 45-minute exchange, Gorton explained how Lexington provides various services, such as garbage pickup, street paving, parks, and walking trails. She also reviewed who does what in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Parker, who is currently leading PBL lessons on economics and entrepreneurship, plans to have her students write persuasive letters that recommend improvements in Lexington. They had already prepared a handful of questions for Gorton, such as:

  • What skills from elementary school helped her become mayor? (Reading, math, socializing, organization, and learning to separate wants from needs.)
  • Why does Gorton love being mayor? (She enjoys working with people and solving problems.)
  • How do her decisions affect schools? (She maintains a good relationship with our superintendent and partners with Fayette County Public Schools to benefit students.)

Gorton also briefly outlined her journey from a nursing career to a Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government council member, to vice chair, to mayor. “If you keep your dreams and work toward them, it can end up beautifully,” she said.


Posted Feb. 9, 2023