President Obama fails to choose Clark Montessori for commencement - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

President Obama fails to choose Clark Montessori for commencement address

President Barack Obama President Barack Obama

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Clark Montessori Jr./Sr. High School fell just short of winning a commencement address from President Barack Obama.

The school was one of three finalists to win the contest, joining Denver School of Science and Technology in Colorado and Kalamazoo Central High School in Michigan. The finalist schools were chosen based on votes made on the White House website.

The winner is Kalamazoo Central High School in Michigan.

White House officials say they are working to provide a Cabinet secretary or senior administration official to deliver the commencement address at each of the five schools not selected as the national winner.

The Commencement Challenge kicked off in February with over 1,000 schools applying.

Clark Montessori received support from several local politicians, including Sen. Sherrod Brown, Rep. Steve Driehaus, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory.

"We knew all along that no matter what happened, we feel we already won," said Rupa Townsend, Clark Montessori principal. "The Clark community feels great that we got to share with Cincinnati how proud we are of our school. This is a great moment for Clark, but also for the school that won. We congratulate Kalamazoo."

"We love Clark. And we are thrilled that we got this far. There is no questions about that," said Johnneca Johnson, a Clark senior. "But are also proud of the other schools that were also very deserving to win this incredible honor."

Commencement ceremonies are May 27 for Clark Montessori.

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