Teachers, students react to President's visit - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Teachers, students react to President's visit


MADISON (WKOW) -- The President was in Madison Wednesday afternoon, and James C. Wright Middle School was abuzz with activity and excitement.

It's hard to imagine a more supportive crowd for the President than the one he addressed Wednesday.

"I was screaming at the top of my lungs," said DeNae McClaren, an eighth-grader at Wright Middle School. "I thought I was going to lose my voice."

"The students who met the President in the library were so excited they weren't going to wash their hands," said Sarah Knutson, who teaches leadership and reading classes at Wright Middle School. "They got to shake his hand and talked about how his hands were so soft. I think that is definitely something they'll never forget."

"I haven't slept in 24 hours, that's how excited my daughter and I were," said McClaren's mother, Regina Lemon, who was also at the event.

Besides being starstruck, most audience members applauded the President's words regarding teacher evaluations and the importance of a college education.

"I definitely think teachers need to be evaluated," said Richard Henderson, former employee at Wright Middle School. "I also think teachers should take some other courses to keep up with the changes in society."

"Everything he said I agree with," said Lemon, "especially when he said if the teachers don't want to teach our kids, then get them out of here."

And for the students, this was one speech they'll remember forever.

"We all said we're going to live to tell this to our grandchildren, if we have some," said McClaren.

"For the students, I think [Obama] represents a leader that they can relate to and connect with, and I think it's been a real honor for them to have somebody like him address them directly," said Knutson.

Most of the curriculum for the week's lessons were centered around the President's visit, and now Knutson says it could be hard for everyone to come back to reality and focus on school once again.

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