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Jimmy Taw
Registrar, Valdosta High School
Georgia Chairperson, Local Board 45
“The High School Registrar Program is one of the best projects Selective Service has to get the word out about registration,” stated Jimmy Taw. And he should know. Taw was one of the first High School Registrars in Georgia. He’s also been a member of Georgia Local Board 45 since its inception in 1981. “Uncompensated registrars in the High School Program have easy access to young men who meet Selective Service registration requirements. The program is efficient and cost effective,” Taw says.

Taw has implemented a successful education and registration program at Valdosta High School. He incorporates information on Selective Service into his school’s curriculum and plans “Special Event Days” to promote registration. For the first half of this school year, he worked with the Army National Guard in offering a three-day college/career planning program for juniors and seniors to help kick-off Selective Service education and registration. To finish the school year, he worked with the Army, who provided a Bradley fighting vehicle and demonstration team.

“This really helps us emphasize the importance of Selective Service registration and, at the same time, host enjoyable events not part of regular school activities,” Taw says. “It helps make Selective Service more than just a name to the students,” he explains.

During his teaching career, Taw has been honored as Outstanding Secondary Educator and Teacher of the Year by the Daughters of the American Revolution, among other awards. However, he is most proud of the service awards from the Air Force, Navy, and Marines for his work in the community.

Taw has taught history at Valdosta High School for the past 25 years and is chairperson of the Social Studies Department. He also serves as chairperson for the school system’s Employee Benefits Committee, representing 1,000 teachers, staff, and support personnel. In addition to all this, he teaches in the Department of Social Sciences for Georgia Military College at Moody Air Force Base.

Brad Johnson
Registrar, Washington High School
Ogden, Utah
A 16-year veteran educator working with alternative school students, Brad Johnson knows about motivating troubled youths. He plans to use his skills in a new way this year — helping eligible students register with Selective Service.

A current guidance counselor at Washington High School in Ogden, Utah, Johnson is the school’s first SSS Registrar.

“Our principal and I were convinced of the need for it, so I agreed to do it,” Johnson said, adding he won’t have a problem fitting the small amount of work into his schedule.

Washington High is an alternative school with students attending for a few weeks or months at a time. Enrollment is about 500, many of them boys.

“Some may be reluctant to register, primarily because of concerns about their illegal immigrant status,” Johnson said. “I handle it by just inviting them in a no-pressure manner to come by and do it.”

“I will be dealing with kids who don’t do well in school and who don’t plan ahead,” Johnson said. “They need this information and we’re glad to be able to provide it.”

Johnson plans to make registration information available to students at opening session orientations, as well as throughout the year, by use of bulletin board posters. Also, classroom teachers will be asked to regularly inform students about the program. The students will then visit the guidance office to register, he said.

Linda Rodriguez
Linda Rodriguez, teacher, wife, and the mother of two teenage sons is also a High School Registrar. “One of the first questions I ask the students taking my government class is ‘Why should I take a class in American government?’” Rodriguez recounts. “As you can guess, the frequent response I get is ‘we need it to graduate.’”

“I then point out to the students that registering for Selective Service is their responsibility and a crucial part of being a good citizen. I explain that they will be held responsible and would have to pay the consequences of not registering.”

“I also let the students know that I can help. If they did not receive their card to fill out or, if they threw it away, I have cards for them,” Rodriguez says.

“At the end of the semester on their final exam, I ask students if they have learned anything, and if they now believe it is important to take a class in U.S. Government. Believe it or not, all the responses are positive,” Rodriguez elaborates. “Many go in to great detail about everything we talked about; however, no matter how short or long their answer is, almost all say if they didn’t take the class, they wouldn’t know how to register to vote or know the importance of registering with Selective Service.”

“As a teacher it is gratifying to know that I was able to get through to them, even when it seemed that some days I was talking to a brick wall.”

JoAnn Bell

Working one-on-one with students can occasionally be difficult for a school counselor, but JoAnn Bell, the SSS Registrar at Weld Junior/Senior High School in Keenesburg, Colo., finds this portion of her job a breeze.

A full-time counseling secretary at the school, Bell, who has served as a Registrar for four years, says registering the young men who’ve just turned 18 is never a problem. “It’s a fast and very simple job,” she said.

To attract attention to the program at the beginning of the school year, school officials inform the boys in a senior class orientation session of their requirement to register with Selective Service, pointing out that the counseling office is set up to handle the registration process. Additionally, Bell places informational Selective Service posters in hallways and other areas where seniors congregate and makes three to four “reminder” announcements throughout the year on the public address system.

Once a year, on “Career Day,” the program also gets a boost with visits to the school by military recruiters and other officials who are prepared to discuss the registration requirement with students.

“I’ve never heard any of the boys complain about having to register; in fact, they feel it’s their duty,” she said, adding that only once has a girl asked why females are not required to register.

Bell also handles voter registration for students, as well as for members of the community. She says she’ll happily do the job as long as she’s a school employee. She encourages schools which do not have the program in place to make a commitment to do it. “I can see why busy school employees might think it’s a bothersome task because it’s another added job, but it really doesn’t take much time at all,” she said, noting that all she’s required to do is take the filled-out cards, put them in provided envelopes and mail them to the Selective Service System.


Last Updated February 15, 2011
©2012 Selective Service System