June 7th, 2010
08:46 AM ET
4 years ago

Obama to speak at Michigan high school

The Class of 2010 at Michigan's Kalamazoo Central High School will have an unusually high-profile commencement speaker Monday.
The Class of 2010 at Michigan's Kalamazoo Central High School will have an unusually high-profile commencement speaker Monday.

(CNN) - Unlike college, high school commencement addresses aren't usually known to draw celebrity speakers.

But for a group of Michigan high school students, Monday will bring a moment they're unlikely to forget.

President Barack Obama will deliver this year's graduation speech for the graduating class of Kalamazoo Central High School.

The school earned a visit after winning the administration's first annual "Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge."

Watch: Obama aide explains why school won

To accommodate the crowd, the school has moved the event to Western Michigan University.

Graduating seniors were each given eight tickets. No tickets were handed out to the general public.

"I congratulate our winner, Kalamazoo Central High School, and all of our six finalists for their innovative and effective approaches to teaching, learning and preparing students to graduate ready for college and a career," Obama said in a written statement in May.

The White House asked Americans to help pick a winning high school from a list of six finalists. The list was cut to three recently, the White House said. Obama chose the winner.

"The race was neck and neck all the way to the end with all six schools within half a point of each other," a White House statement said. "Thank you to the more than 170,000 people who weighed in and rated the six finalist schools."

To compete, students from around the country had to submit a three-minute video and a short essay on how their school was helping prepare students to meet Obama's goal to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.

In its video entry, a parade of Kalamazoo Central students of various nationalities stand before a map of the world and say in their native language that they are going to college.

The other two schools that made the final cut were Clark Montessori Junior High and High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Colorado's Denver School of Science and Technology.


Filed under: Michigan • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Lucky kids!

    June 7, 2010 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  2. Get A Grip

    " Unlike college, high school commencement addresses aren't usually known to draw celebrity speakers."

    BINGO...CNN hit the nail right on the head with this one. That's what Obama is.....a great celebrity speaker and a very weak president.

    June 7, 2010 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  3. TCM

    indoctrination....I can't wait to vote this idiot out of office...that is, if we even have an identifiable country left

    June 7, 2010 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  4. aneanderthal

    I just read a story about how democrats are scared to death to meet with their constituents which is wonderful and a sign of the times to come. Of course this inept, corrupt tool of the criminal unions has his audience carefully screened and his teleprompters loaded at least when he is not partying with the "elitists" of which he is a member.

    June 7, 2010 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  5. Leann

    I think it is wonderful how Kalamazoo business community has supported their public school system by paying for their graduates to gain higher education. They are investing into the students and some students are paying it forward. This is truly an inspiring story.

    June 7, 2010 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  6. All the news that's fit to omit

    "Celebrity speaker", thank you CNN, that is the best way to describe this head of the DNC, errr, President of the Bush derangement syndrome club, err, waffler in chief.

    Wouldn't this school rather have someone that has actually worked for a living instead of someone who has been told how great he is based on absolutely NOTHING and because of his "heritage" only.

    Better bring the backup TOTUS, I would hate to hear and see him have to speak without a uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh binkyprompter.

    June 7, 2010 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  7. gt

    great at giving speaches.... terrible at getting anything done in the gulf..

    June 7, 2010 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  8. Ron in California

    Maybe he should speak at the Grand Isles, La. high school.

    June 7, 2010 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  9. Irma in North Carolina

    Every one should really be proud of these students. They must all really been proud to have the president speak. Its nice to see an article like this.

    June 7, 2010 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  10. Jerry - Florida

    Oh wow! What a big deal. The Liar-in-Chief teaching innocent minds how to lie their way in life.

    What hypocrisy. Mr. President, stay in Washington, do the job that you were hired to do and stop spending tax-payer money.

    Most of all, don't forget, THE CAMPAIGN IS OVER!

    June 7, 2010 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  11. sensible Cape Coral Fl

    Way to go, Mister President. Please keep up your good work on Education Reform. Be assured of my gratitude.

    June 7, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  12. mabel

    I love President Obama!!!!!!

    June 7, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  13. Rick McDaniel

    Guess Obama has to resort to speaking to the young and foolish.......most everyone else has seen through his lies.

    June 7, 2010 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  14. nobama

    Great!! Maybe there he will actually commemorate D-Day in his speech, since he's the 1st President to not even mention this historic date, nor was it commemorated on the White House website.
    Wake up Obama lovers! The only person who loves Obama more than you is him. He's an attention seeking know-it-all that thinks of himself before all others.

    June 7, 2010 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  15. Mike

    Puke, I would boycott my own graduation rather than listen to this clown.

    June 7, 2010 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  16. Tookie

    The general public was able to get tickets. They were limited to six per person.

    June 7, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  17. Chuck Independent In Ohio

    As a 1963 graduate of Kalamazoo Central High School, I am proud of what these kids accomplished and that the President Of the United States is their graduation speaker. Young people, ENJOY the moment!!!!!

    June 7, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  18. 90% of an Iceberg is Underwater

    It should inspire high school students around the country ... Good move Sir.

    June 7, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  19. katiec

    How great is this. These students will have a graduation they will never forget. And, one they worked hard on to accomplish.

    June 7, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  20. Expat American

    On cue let's hear the usual from the loyal opposition!

    “Dear Lord. The President is speaking at a High School graduation ceremony. Let me kick in my Christ Nazi Tea Party turrets feigning my fabricated outrage and spew out nonsensical gibberish because of this. BooHooHoo. I saw a brown person at my Dairy Queen – I think he's a terrorist."

    Good Job Mr. President. Those high school kids deserve to be rewarded for their hard work!

    June 7, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  21. Bill

    He continues to look for younger, more naive audiences to preach his nonsense to. Most adults have learned what this fraud is all about now.

    June 7, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  22. Marc in Virginia

    Please get back to work, Mr. President. There's a big oil spill in the Gulf. We are all sick of your photo ops.

    June 7, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  23. terry,va

    Maybe one of the high school students will give Obummie an economic 101 lesson while he is there.

    June 7, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  24. Thomas

    Maybe Obama can take a few history classes on the United States of America and be more supportive of states' efforts to deal with immigration issues. After all, this is not the United States of Mexico.

    June 7, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  25. anastacia

    congrats K-Central on winning! My fiance's aunt, grandmother, uncle and cousins will get to experience their cousin Sophia graduate!

    June 7, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
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