Kalamazoo Central High School in western Michigan has won a national contest to have President Barack Obama as its commencement speaker this spring, the White House announced last week.
President Obama will speak June 10, the Kalamazoo public school system said. Other Cabinet members will address graduates at the five other semifinalist schools.
Kalamazoo Central was one of three finalists in the Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge. Cincinnati’s Clark Montessori Junior High and High School and the Denver School of Science and Technology in Denver were the other two finalists.
The White House cited Kalamazoo Central’s 80 percent-plus graduation rate and the district’s Kalamazoo Promise program, which is designed to make college education accessible regardless of family income. It also pointed to improvements in academic performance and a culturally rich curriculum.
The three finalists were chosen through public voting on videos and essays submitted by the schools. The White House said more than 170,000 people voted.
A version of this article appeared in the May 12, 2010 edition of Education Week as Mich. School Wins Contest to Have Obama as Speaker