Towards the Rockies – Bus Tour Day Two

ED's Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships Director Rev. Brenda Girton-Mitchell facilitated a roundtable discussion with Brighton High School students and educators in Salt Lake City as part of our Back-to-School bus tour.

ED's Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships Director Rev. Brenda Girton-Mitchell facilitated a roundtable discussion with Brighton High School students and educators in Salt Lake City as part of our Back-to-School bus tour. Official Department of Education photo by Leslie Williams.

Elko: Community collaboration is key

With only two days complete of ED’s cross-country bus tour, it’s already clear that education really does drive America. During Thursday’s first event at Great Basin College in Elko, Nev., we witnessed how communities can come together.

William Mendoza, director of the White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education led the panel that featured Deb Delisle, assistant secretary for the office of elementary and secondary education, tribal leaders, Nevada’s state chief superintendent and community members.

ED officials listened to panelists as they described the challenges they are facing, but also how school districts and communities are working together to improve education for Native American students. Watch the video below for more from Elko.

Salt Lake City: Achieving success through turning around

Lily Eskelsen, vice president of the NEA

NEA Vice President Lily Eskelsen speaks at Glendale Middle School in Salt Lake City. Official Department of Education photo by Joshua Hoover.

The Education Drives America bus cruised through the Bonneville Salt Flats as we made our way to Glendale Middle School in Salt Lake City. Glendale is a recipient of a School Improvement Grant (SIG) from the Department, and the school is a National Education Association (NEA) Priority School. Under Secretary Martha Kanter, ED Chief of Staff Joanne Weiss and Asst. Secretary Delisle met with NEA Vice President Lily Eskelsen and Salt Lake Mayor Ralph Becker.

After a tour of Glendale’s classrooms, the group sat down with teachers and students to discuss what is working at Glendale. One of the reasons the school has seen such positive changes is the involvement of parents. Click here to read a recent story from the NEA on family involvement at Glendale.

While Glendale may have been the only Utah stop for the bus, over the past two days, ED officials have held 10 events in Utah.

The Education Drives America bus isn’t slowing down. Today it drives across Wyoming with stops in Rock Springs, Rawlins and Cheyenne. Stay connected by receiving email updates on our back-to-school tour across the country.

See what people were saying on social media about the tour during day two, and watch our video summary:


Click here for an alternate version of the video with an accessible player.

Cameron Brenchley is director of digital engagement and is blogging and tweeting his way from coast-to-coast during ED’s annual back-to-school bus tour.