I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Could President Obama Speak at PHS Graduation this May?

What an intriguing question and the answer to this question is, yes (maybe).

The White House has announced plans to hold a “Race to the Top high School Commencement Challenge”
And Pensacola High School just might have the right stuff to get a Presidential visit in May.

From iVillage:

“The White House and the Department of Education have launched The Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge, which asks students to "show how they are making great strides on personal responsibility, academic excellence and college readiness" for the chance to have President Barack Obama give a speech at graduation this spring.”Complete article here

I’m told that the freshman class President and Vice President at PHS are going to submit an application to have Barack Obama Speak at PHS commencement this May. They are doing this for the seniors and for the school—even though as freshmen they won’t necessarily be the ones hearing from the President-- if they even win the competition.

The application consists of four questions and an optional data questionnaire. There is also an option to create a video presentation as well—which I’m certain PHS will do.

See President Obama’s video on this competition here

View the questions and submittal form here

Obviously PHS will be competing with thousands of other high schools from around the country to win a visit by the president. It is my understanding that the district will support this application by PHS and will assist the students with their submittal.

PHS has some compelling reasons that might give it an edge in the competition.

--H.S. Football state champions---but also state Academic Brain Bowl Champions

--H.S. Girls Basketball Team-- state runner up
( Excellence at academics and athletics)

--International Baccalaureate program that serves the entire county
(Distinguished numerous times over the last decade as a top 100 H.S. in America by U.S. News and World Reports)

--Diverse student demographic makeup

--Freshman class President that has been honored as a state History Fair winner and a national History Fair finalist.

--big recovery from Devastating Hurricane Ivan (Gymnasium recently rebuilt)

It would be an honor to have the President of the United States come to the PHS commencement; Even if some disagree with his policies--he still has the title of President of the United States--and for him to come and speak here in person--would be huge for this community---it will be exciting to watch the competition unfold!
Good Luck PHS!


Cynthia Beattie Mcgill said...

Everything Obama learned about diplomacy he learned in kindergarten and it is us, the Americans who are paying for him not learing good lessons in the childhood. Hope his putting America on the path of "set a good example and others will follow" philosphy works!

Jeff Bergosh said...


I respect the office of the President of the United States--while at the same time I disagree with many of this President's policies and initiatives (Stimulus, cap and trade, health care takeover, etc.). This said, I like most of this President's initiatives/ideas on Education Reform. I also think if PHS were to win such a competiion and the President would come to Pensacola this would be a great achievement for those students and this community--it would be historic.