President Obama showed up at my swearing in to be a United States citizen today. He may have only shown up in pre-taped video fashion, but regardless, he was there. His message was a clear one: Being a citizen of the United States is a great privilege, but with great privilege comes great responsibility. Citizenship is a privilege that I have hoped to gain over the last 20 years living in this country, especially as I turned 18 and became old enough to exercise the right to vote. While I am incredibly excited to finally exercise this right in November, I feel even more compelled to focus my energy on a broader issue that affects every citizen of the United States who has ever sought educational opportunities for themselves or others.
Next Friday we will hold our 8th annual Slice of Pi fundraising event for DSST Public Schools. This event is truly a celebration of our students, teachers and mission. Unlike many other non-profit fundraisers, we have always chosen to hold the event in our schools and not a big hotel ballroom. Why?
Next Friday, at our annual Slice of Pi celebration, we will welcome back two DSST distinguished alumni: Kamaria Hakeem and Christopher Torres, members of DSST’s very first graduating class, 2008. In the summer of 2004, each took a giant leap of faith by entering the brand new, and as-yet-untested DSST Stapleton High School—and on April 13, 2012, at Slice of Pi, they will return to reflect upon their experiences and successes as a result of that pivotal decision.
We started the official program of the Pearson Digital Learning Executive Forum with a discussion-based keynote by a very interesting and intelligent guy named Tom Vander Ark. I had the opportunity to chat with Tom briefly before his talk, and I found out that one of the many interesting things that he’s done in his time in education was to help write the initial grant proposal for DSST. I hope to have time later to discuss that startup process with him, but at the very least, I know that he’s a huge fan of the work we’re doing.
A big shout-out and congratulations are in order to Stapleton High School for 100% of the senior class earning acceptance to four-year colleges. The entire Stapleton Campus, from 6th-grade on up, celebrated the senior class this morning!
We might be tempted to start taking an accomplishment such as this one for granted - it is the 5th consecutive class to earn 100% four-year college acceptance since our first graduating class of 2008.