Principal Tukeva's letter to the President - Columbia Heights Educational Campus

3101 16th St, NW / Washington, DC 20010 / HS: 202.939.7700 / MS: 202.939.6680 / Maria Tukeva, Principal
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April 1, 2011

President Barack H. Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

On behalf of Columbia Heights Educational Campus, I thank you for honoring us with your presence at our school for the Es El Momento: El Presidente, Los Hispanos y la Educacion town hall.  Our school community will always cherish the unique opportunity to engage the President of the United States in such a historic conversation on education.  From the students to the staff, to the parents and community leaders, we were all captivated by your analysis of the issues and inspired by your emphasis on the importance of student, parent and staff collaborative engagement.

For weeks our school was abuzz in anticipation of your visit.  Our students energetically planted pansies in front of our campus, meticulously hung handmade welcome signs, posted digital announcements and our teachers developed special lesson plans in preparation of your arrival. Students that were given the opportunity to submit questions worked to craft thoughtful educational inquires.  All of the participants are passionate about public education and strive to instill a focus on rigor, relevance and social justice in our learning community.

The relentless pursuit of excellence is the very foundation of our school and we stress higher education as a necessary ingredient to achieving success.  The town hall proved to be a teachable moment for our school and we will continue this dialogue for years to come.  In commemoration of the town hall, we are dedicating a webpage on our school’s website and creating a scrapbook capturing photographs, articles and reflections from students, staff and the community.  This will serve not only in remembrance, but as an educational tool to enhance our school-wide conversation around such a critical issue.  And it is with this spirit that I enclose reflections from the student questioners: Kennry Alvarado, Diana Castillo, Luis Zelaya, and Lisa Mendoza.  

Thank you again for bestowing an incredible honor on our school and for your commitment to public and higher education.   


Maria Tukeva

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