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Kids of America

Sequoia gets a visit from the U.S. Secretary of Education

Kids of America


It doesn’t matter what side of the political spectrum you’re on. You could be far left, or far right, but when something big, or someone big from either party comes to visit your school, it’s kind of a big deal.

It has been written about a lot already and it could somewhat be considered old news. Journalists were on their laptops and tablets sending their articles and pictures off to be published within minutes of the event being over.

But not me.

I sat in Carrington Hall Wednesday morning, getting out of Spanish, surrounded by prominent people. My classmates were to my right, my teacher to my left, and a whole bunch of people that I had never seen before everywhere else.

But they were important.

They look dignified in their suits and dresses. They were business people it seemed, innovators of the Silicon Valley perhaps.

I hoped that maybe I would get to talk to at least one of these dressed up important looking people. Maybe we could have a conversation. Maybe they would ask me about my school. Maybe I could open up their eyes and explain and show them what makes my school brilliant.

Ms. Hansen walked up to the mike. We cheered for her. She was wearing Sequoia purple just like she asked the students to wear. She talked about how our school was a representation of America. Different ethnicities. Different backgrounds. Different resources.

But we are one.

We are together. We are a unit. We are a team.

Some minutes passed. A few other speakers spoke. The man of honor climbed the steps onto stage and took to the podium. I had stood on that stage. Students had spoke from that podium. This was really happening.

I have to be honest. I had no idea who Arne Duncan was a couple of weeks ago. I Googled him and found out that he is the current Secretary of Education.


He came to Sequoia. They choose my school.

Maybe it is the beautiful campus or the proximity to the technologic empire. Maybe it is because we are public with a variety of ethnicities. Maybe it is all of this combined. I might never know.

In truth, there are many schools that Arne Duncan and the Education Drives America tour will visit on their trip around the country. In Washington they aren’t studying our school, looking super close at us individually, and checking up on our football team. They have other stuff to worry about.

However, for an hour and a half I hope that they somehow got a glimpse at how Sequoia is different. It isn’t for things that you can look at on paper. It isn’t just test results, or statistics, or even the IB diploma. It is the people themselves, the character that the students at Sequoia High School exhibit each and every day.

We live up to our motto, Unalyi, a place of friends. That is why at 9 a.m. this past Wednesday I was so proud of my school. I was proud not just that we had been chosen, but because I looked around and saw that Sequoia’s students are an adequate representation of our country.

So I hope that somehow Washington will see that in this little pocket of the world, the next generation is being brought up and readied to be brilliant, to be curious, to discover, to learn, and to thrive in the United States of America.

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