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Kalamazoo High Wins Obama Commencement Speech

The White House has announced the winner of what the Obama Administration called its "Race to the Top Commencement Challenge" in which high schools across the nation competed to have the president give their commencement address.

The field was narrowed down to six schools and the winner is Kalamazoo Central High School in Michigan.

The White House statement:

WASHINGTON — The White House and the Department of Education today announced Kalamazoo Central High School in Kalamazoo, Michigan, as the winner of the first annual Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge. President Obama will travel to Kalamazoo to deliver the school's commencement address. More details on the President's visit will be released as they become available.

"I congratulate our winner, Kalamazoo Central High School, and all of our six finalists for their innovative and effective approaches to teaching, learning and preparing students to graduate ready for college and a career," said President Obama. "I look forward to visiting and speaking at Kalamazoo Central High School later this spring."

"The extraordinary applications we received in the Race to the Top Commencement Challenge are a true testament to the great work happening in high school across the country," said Secretary of Education Arne Duncan who announced the winner in a video released this morning.

"Congratulations to everyone at Kalamazoo Central High for setting high standards and ensuring students graduate and go on to succeed in college. I look forward to joining the President at their commencement."

Kalamazoo Central High School was one of over 1,000 applications narrowed down by the White House and Department of Education to six high school finalists. Between April 26th and April 29th, over 170,000 people weighed in on short videos and essays from the six finalists. President Obama selected Kalamazoo Central High School as the national winner from the three high schools with the highest average public ratings.