On Thursday, August 9, not one, but two Canadian-born Owensboro residents became U.S. citizens.
Optometrist Dr. John Murray Adams and third-grade teacher Melanie Camron, each made the trip to Louisville that day to be among 156 people from across Kentucky taking the oath to become U.S citizens.
“As I was looking around the room during my naturalization ceremony, I realized that many of the people in there were coming to our country to be free from oppression and for a new future,” Camron said.
Camron, a third-grade teacher at Highland Elementary School, and a Western Kentucky University alumna, became a permanent resident of the United States upon marrying her husband Jeremy in 2007.
Since that time, Camron has made it her goal to work toward her U.S. citizenship, a journey she has been able to share with her students.
As part of her social studies unit on government, she and her students talk about the rights and responsibilities of citizens and what it means to be a good citizen of the U.S.A.
“I stress to my students how fortunate they are to be born into a free country, and what that means,” Melanie said.
Highland Elementary School principal, Leslie Peveler, said, “The thing about Mrs. Camron is that her enthusiasm for something is contagious, and that allowed her kids (students) to travel on this journey with her.”
Camron’s husband, Jeremy, streamed the ceremony “live” on Facebook so Melanie’s third-grade class could watch their teacher join them as a citizen of the United States.
Peveler said this experience was “somewhat intimate” for Camron’s students because they had witnessed her studying and preparing to achieve her goal, and they were now able to experience “the culmination of her hard work” along with her.
“It was such a cool experience and truly an amazing event,” Melanie said. “They did a ‘roll call’ by country, and when your home country was called, you stood up and everyone cheered…When I got home that night, I registered to vote and I will stress to my students how important it is to vote and what that freedom really means.”
Peveler said that Mrs. Camron receiving her citizenship was “such a big event in her life and she was so willing to share it with other people,” which is “the ultimate in building relationships” with students.