Labor Secretary To Give Rural School Commencement Speech

By Diette Courrégé Casey — May 23, 2011 1 min read
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Although rural Bridgeport High School, in Bridgeport, Wash., didn’t win the Race to the Top Commencement Challenge, the school still will receive a visit from a senior administration official.

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis will address the school’s graduating class June 1. Bridgeport High was one of three finalists vying for President Obama to give that speech, but the president chose Booker T. Washington High School, in Memphis, Tenn., as the winner. Four other senior administration officials will deliver commencement speeches at the remaining runner-up schools.

The New York Times ran an interesting story about the situation and the president’s decision to speak elsewhere. Many of Bridgeport High School’s students are children of Hispanic farm workers, and they wondered whether controversy about immigration issues had been a factor in their not being selected, according to the story.

Solis is the daughter of Hispanic immigrants and the first in her family to go to college. She’s also the first Hispanic woman to serve in the U.S. Cabinet.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Rural Education blog.