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No Obama speech at Park graduation

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Park High School will have to settle on someone other than the leader of the free world as this year's commencement speaker.

The school earlier this year entered a national contest to have President Obama speak to the 2011 graduating class, but did not make the list of schools still in the running for the presidential speech.

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Park staff and students put together an application for the Race to the Top Commencement Challenge, a contest to highlight the high school doing the most to prepare students for post-secondary education and a career.

Park teacher Tim Hofmann organized the application, but turned to students to answer essay questions and put together a nearly 4-minute video that featured academic strides Park students have made in recent years. The video could be viewed on YouTube.

Several hundred schools competed in the contest, according to the White House. The public could vote through Friday on six schools that were chosen as finalists. Those schools were in Bridgeport Washington; San Diego; Goldsboro, North Carolina; Memphis, Tennessee; Newark, New Jersey; and Pittsburgh.

Those six schools will be narrowed to a list of three, from which Obama will choose the winner.

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Scott Wente
Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
(651) 459-7600
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