ROXBURY, N.J. - If what happened Monday at Lincoln-Roosevelt School in Roxbury is reflected throughout America on Tuesday, Donald Trump will be one very happy man.
Trump won the U.S. presidency in an election at the school, soundly defeating Hillary Clinton, as hundreds of fifth- and sixth-grade pupils cheered in the high-pitched, high-decibel howl only attainable by excited pre-teens inside a small gymnasium.
It was a mock election that not only taught the kids about the mechanics of the electoral system but also immersed them in some Yankee Doodle Dandy election-year partisan hooting and hollering.
Before Monday's event unfolded, each classroom in the old school on Hillside Avenue was designated as a state. Its pupils, having researched Trump and Clinton, voted for their choices.
State-by-state, those votes were revealed in the gym on Monday afternoon. The popular vote and electoral vote tallies were compiled on big posters as students representing each classroom-state gave brief, often funny, descriptions of their state's highlights.
Pupils Evan Paddock and Juliana Pizzo stood before the throng - wearing enlarged photos of Clinton and Trump over their faces - and reacted as the electoral votes added up. They even engaged in some of the trash-talking that's made Election 2016 a contest to never be forgotten.
Paddock got so much into character he had adults in the audience laughing as he displayed Trump-esque hand gestures, complained about "rigging," gave double thumbs-down when a state voted for Clinton and engaged in some mock hair fixing.
Assistant Principal Chris Argenziano - who spent time before the voting began explaining to students the history, role and power of the presidency – took a minute to inform them that, while New Jersey is predominantly Democrat, Morris County isn't.
"We're in a very Republican area," he said. "Not New Jersey, but Morris County. Morris County tends to vote for Republicans, which you guys just did, by the way. So, even though we're known as a blue state, usually our area votes red."
When the final vote was counted, it was Trump 243, Clinton 188. For the cheering young Republicans on the bleachers, America was about to become great again. But first, they had to return - calmly please - to their classrooms.