Turkeys pardoned by President Obama named by Pleasanton students

Donlon 5th-graders won contest with name suggestions, Honest and Abe

The two turkeys chosen for this year's presidential pardon owe their unique names to a gaggle of Pleasanton students.

Michele Pollack's fifth-grade classroom at Donlon Elementary chose the winning names of this year's two pardoned turkeys, Honest and Abe. The turkey duo, who hail from a Modesto farm, were pardoned today by President Barack Obama as part of the 68-year White House tradition of exempting two turkeys from Thanksgiving feasts nationwide.

"Abe is now a free bird," Obama said in his pardoning remarks today. "He is TOTUS -- the Turkey of the United States."

Pollack said a parent in her classroom who works for Foster Farms told her about the contest, and students started brainstorming earlier this month.

Students initially suggested many food names, including Peach and Cobbler, and some California-themed names, such as Steph and Curry, she said.

Once students learned about the historical context of turkey pardoning, they switch gears to American-themed names such as Liberty and Bell and the winning selection of Honest and Abe.

The names were submitted to the White House's online contest, and Pollack said she recently found out her class's names were chosen as the winners.

"I was just so glad to be given the opportunity," Pollack said. She said it was incredible "to be part of something that people all over the us are taking part in, and obviously having no idea it would go this far."

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14 people like this
Posted by Tim Kelly
a resident of Val Vista
on Nov 25, 2015 at 4:47 pm

Congratulations to 5th Grade Teacher, Michelle Polluck for using REAL world situations to teach History and Tradition. These students learned more than if they just read it out of a book. Keep up the GREAT work!👏👍👏

8 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 25, 2015 at 6:36 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Great work Michelle, congratulations to your students for naming our National Turkeys, pardoned by the president of the United States.

6 people like this
Posted by Mary Todd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2015 at 11:24 am

Wonderful story. Go Donlon

2 people like this
Posted by Neth
a resident of Happy Valley
on Nov 26, 2015 at 3:59 pm

Congrats Donlon!

Finally something Onama is capable of.

5 people like this
Posted by curious
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 27, 2015 at 7:34 pm

Nice to read a "feel good" story about our community!! Congratulations to Donlon School!

Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton was nice forty years ago
a resident of Castlewood
on Dec 2, 2015 at 6:16 am

Could have made it easy and stuck to the names of the two turkeys in the whitehouse Obama and Biden

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