Northwest high school in top three in Obama commencement contest

May 2, 2011

Bridgeport High School is one of just three schools left in a contest to have President Barack Obama speak at graduation. 

Shortly after the announcement came from the White House this morning, principal Tamra Jackson jumped on the intercom to let her students know:

"And as I gave the announcement I could hear the screams and the hollers and the cheers all the way to my office from the whole building. Kids are just excited. The adults are excited."

Despite having only 37 seniors, it received more votes for its online video essay than schools in much larger cities. The Eastern Washington town, located 75 miles northeast of Wenatchee, has just 2,409 residents.

The contest asked students to show how their school fulfills the president’s goal of preparing them for college and careers. Bridgeport serves mostly low-income children of migrant farm workers, but nearly all of its seniors have been accepted to college. 

Check out their video entry to hear the students share their story:

Governor Chris Gregoire issued a statement to congratulate the students for making it this far:

“They have risen above all odds to make education a priority. These students are quite simply an inspiration to us all.”

Now it’s up to the president to decide which school to visit. The other schools he’s considering are in San Diego and Memphis. He’s expected to make his choice later this week.