Brown Praises Clark Montessori School’s Advancement to Final Round of President Obama’s Commencement Challenge

President’s Top Education Official, Secretary of U.S. Department of Education, to Deliver Commencement Address

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown praised the Clark Montessori School in Cincinnati today for reaching the final round of the Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge and announced that U. S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will deliver the school’s commencement address.

“I’m proud that Secretary Duncan will get to see Clark Montessori first hand,” Brown said. “I congratulate Clark Montessori Junior High and High School for their their selection as a finalist. Schools like Clark Montessori need to be recognized for their innovation and commitment to student success and I’m proud of the many Ohioans who supported this great school by voting.”

Clark Montessori was one of three schools in the final round of the Commencement Challenge and President Obama promised to send an Administration official to the school. In April, Sen. Brown visited the school to encourage Ohioans to vote for their video on the White House Web site. During an assembly with the school’s renowned steel band, student representatives outlined to Sen. Brown and their peers why Clark Montessori should be selected as a site for a presidential commencement address.

Public high schools from across the nation submitted applications demonstrating their dedication to providing quality educational experiences that prepare students for college and career choices. Each of the semi-finalists created a short video showing how they best fulfill the Commencement Challenge’s criteria. The videos, along with portions of each school’s written application, were featured on the White House Web site for the public to vote for the three schools they think best meet the President’s goal.
Clark Montessori Junior and Senior High School is the first public Montessori high school in the nation. The first class graduated in 2000, and since then 99.5 percent of students have graduated, and over 96 percent have gone on to attend college. In addition, 33 percent of Clark students receive free or reduced lunch. The school focuses on the stewardship of humanity and working with others in community.  Students begin service in junior high and by the time a student graduates from high school, over 275 hours have been dedicated to service with a social service agency.


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