Goldsboro school makes pitch for Obama commencement

Posted April 13, 2011

— A school in Goldsboro is preparing a video pitch for a national competition that could lead President Barack Obama to deliver the school's commencement address in June.

Wayne Early Middle College High School filmed the video Wednesday. The school is one of six from around the country that have been named finalists in the Race to the Top competition.

The public will have an opportunity to vote on each school's video in the coming weeks. Obama will then select a winner from among the top three and deliver the commencement later this spring.

The challenge encourages schools to show their commitment to preparing students for college and a career. Students at Wayne Early Middle College are dually enrolled in both high school and college courses.

goldsboro school Goldsboro school makes pitch for Obama commencement

Senior Nikea Randolph contributed her guitar skills to the video. She said her school deserves the honor because it’s so unique.

“We get to earn our associate’s degree, as well as our high school diploma, so we have a lot of opportunity here,” Randolph said.

The class graduating next month will be the first to have attended all four years of the program.

“I just think it would be a great ending and a lifetime memory for them because they’ve worked hard,” Principal Lee Johnson said.

Sophomore Stormie Holish, one of the organizers of the project, said the video is a way to say 'thank you' to her older mentors.

“It’s not like normal high school where the upperclassmen pick on the lower-classmen. They’ve really guided us,” Holish said.

Meanwhile, Johnson is trying to make plans for three possible graduation events.

“We have a Plan A for a sunny day. We have a Plan B for rain and a Plan O for Obama,” Johnson said.


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  • marahflower Apr 18, 2011

    To support Wayne Early Middle College High School, please visit Watch their five minute video, along with the other finalists, and rate them. You do not have to vote for each school's video. The voting period starts April 21st and ends April 29th. The votes narrow down the number of schools to three and then President Obama picks the one school from those three. Even if you don't like Obama,the students at WEMCHS have worked extremely hard and deserve our support. Remember

  • cfonvielle Apr 18, 2011

    Reading the negative posts on this site absolutely breaks my heart -- especially for the seniors at this North Carolina high school that has achieved 100% graduation rate over the last three years. The school achieved a 98.5% proficiency rate last year and has improved every year since they opened in the fall of 2006. Wayne Early Middle College High School has achieved the recognition of Honor School of Excellence for the last two years. Doesn't that sound like a school racing to the top? The reason it breaks my heart is that I taught this graduating class as sophomores. I taught them Civics and Economics and yes, I taught them about the United States Constitution; as well as political and legal systems. During the 2008 election, many of my students supported the McCain/Palin ticket. But you know what -- this week, when all the filming was being done -- those same students were proud to be a part of a school selected for the Race to the Top Commencement Challenge. I beg each of you not

  • austindnl1 Apr 14, 2011

    For all of you here that are speaking negatively about this school and it's message, you need to stop. For all of you that are against the sitting president coming to this school, you need to listen. This school is part of an educational movement to spring high school students forward at an earlier age. These students will graduate with an associates degree (which is a two year transfer degree for those of you that don't know) when they graduate high school. This will give them the opportunity to obtain their bachelors degree in two years. For those of you that are questioning the name of the school because it makes no sense, maybe you should keep up with your educational facts. An "early middle college" is a high school that is designed for the associates degree program. If you don't know enough about educational facts, then research first. This school is also only 6 years old, and the fact that it has flourished so quickly is amazing. These seniors (and college students) deserve this

  • marahflower Apr 14, 2011

    I completely agree with gavinwilliford. I mean it is an honor just to have a chance at getting the President of the United States to speak at your high school graduation. Whether or not people like Obama, he is the President who is the leader of our country. You know that this school put in a lot of time and and effort into their video and other components to just get to the top six, not to mention the work they will have to put in to make another, longer, video. Let us praise them for their efforts and give them encouragement. Go Wayne Early Middle College High School!

  • openbook77 Apr 14, 2011

    This is sad so many people have negative comments. ITS THE PRESIDENT Republican or Democrat, Liberal or Conservative. He is the leader of our country and deserves our respect. These kids have worked hard for this opportunity and they do not deserve some NOBODY Obama haters trying to crush their dreams.

  • gopack07 Apr 14, 2011

    Wow so many negative comments in here, although I guess that's not surprising for this forum. Good luck to the school!

  • west3205 Apr 14, 2011

    Whats funny is, I have lived in Goldsboro for 19 years. I have to look up where the school is.

  • texastransplant Apr 13, 2011

    Actually, sorry for the negative. Good Luck, kids, in your efforts. This certainly speaks of your character and I will not willingly crush your dreams of choice for commencement speaker.

  • texastransplant Apr 13, 2011

    Oops! One "get" too many. And yes, I was being sarcastic about honoring us.

  • texastransplant Apr 13, 2011

    Well, I'm no fan of PBO but the fact is that if there is a nation wide contest to have him honor us with his presence, that means the money has already been put aside for him and his multi-million dollar entourage. Frankly, since we just had a fund raiser for our local high school to have get art supplies, I rather have the money it will take to bring him here and have him beam his speech.