Six Boyle County High School students got the surprise of a lifetime Thursday night when they received an unexpected, last-minute invitation to watch the vice-presidential debate from inside the debate hall at Centre College.
Lloyd Hall, William Harris, Clint Hellyer, Dakota Jarman, Bryce Marshall and Trey Yeager literally got to see current Vice President Joe Biden and Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan interact in a passionate debate.
Mary Jane Hall, coordinator of the gifted and talented program for Boyle County, also accepted a last-minute invitation to watch the action from inside the debate hall.
The six students along with Hall were volunteering at the debate’s ticketing center, which was located at Boyle County High.
“We thought we would greet people at the ticketing center and then go watch the debate from the festival,” Mary Jane Hall said.
But Megan Milby, a Centre College employee, offered the group some tickets that invited guests did not pick up.
“Everyone was so excited,” Mary Jane Hall said. “We had about 20 minutes between learning we were getting the tickets and getting inside of the debate hall. It was surreal.”
Another Boyle County High student, Taylor Jameson, had planned to volunteer with the group at the ticketing center but had to cancel when his father, Robert Jameson, garnered two of the coveted spots inside of the debate hall.
“If Taylor’s dad hadn’t already gotten them tickets, he would have been there with us so he would have gotten to go in anyway,” Mary Jane Hall said.
Taylor Jameson and Lloyd Hall said, from their perspective, neither Biden nor Ryan could claim a “win” for the debate.
“Both men showed a lot of character throughout the debate,” Taylor Jameson said.
Lloyd Hall, a senior who plays varsity football for Boyle County, said another memorable experience was getting to meet U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Kentucky) and discuss football with him.
Mary Jane Hall, who coordinated a variety of opportunities for Boyle County students to participate in the events surrounding the debate, said she never imagined actually getting that close to the action.
“It was like Cinderella going to the ball,” she said.