U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to Visit Emporia, Kan., as Part of 2012 Cross-Country Back-to-School Bus Tour Promoting Education

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U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to Visit Emporia, Kan., as Part of 2012 Cross-Country Back-to-School Bus Tour Promoting Education

“Education Drives America” to Highlight the Importance of the Teaching Profession and Community Engagement in Education

September 6, 2012

As part of the U.S. Department of Education’s third annual back-to-school bus tour, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, joined by National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel, will visit Emporia, Kan., on Tuesday, Sept. 18 for a tour of the National Teacher Hall of Fame and a discussion with students, prospective teachers and community members at Emporia State University.

“America’s future is directly linked to the quality of education that we provide our children, young people and adults,” said Secretary Duncan, who will begin the tour on Wednesday, Sept. 12 in Redwood City, Calif. “This bus tour is an opportunity to highlight what’s working and create momentum for education reforms that improve the lives of all students.”

Secretary Duncan and his senior leaders are crisscrossing the country from Sept. 12-21, leading a series of events that reinforce the message that Education Drives America. Besides Emporia, some of the other stops include Sacramento, Calif.; Reno, Nev.; Salt Lake City; Cheyenne, Wyo.; Denver; Topeka, Kan.; Kansas City, Mo.; St. Louis; Evansville, Ind.; Lexington, Ky.; Charleston, W.Va.; Roanoke, Va.; Richmond, Va.; and Washington, D.C.

Secretary Duncan and Van Roekel will begin the stop in Emporia by visiting the National Teacher Hall of Fame, founded in 1989 by Emporia State University (ESU), the ESU Alumni Association, the City of Emporia, the Emporia Unified School District, and the area chamber of commerce. Today, the Hall of Fame is committed to drawing the public's attention to exceptional PreK-12 teachers through a museum, teacher resource center, and a recognition program that annually honors five outstanding PreK-12 educators across the country.

Following the tour, Secretary Duncan and Van Roekel will lead a town hall discussion with 200 students, current and prospective teachers, administrators, and other community stakeholders. The discussion will focus, in part, on the U.S. Department of Education’s RESPECT (Recognizing Educational Success, Professional Excellence and Collaborative Teaching) project, which seeks to work with educators to rebuild the teaching profession along the entire spectrum of recruitment, preparation, professional development, compensation and retention.

Cynthia Apalinski, a third grade science teacher from Lindon, N.J., and a 2012 Teaching Ambassador Fellow with the Department of Education, along with Michael Shonrock, ESU president, will provide opening remarks. The town hall will explore how teaching can become not only America's most important profession, but also America's most respected profession – attracting the country’s best and brightest graduates and ensuring that the most effective educators feel valued in their work and remain in the field.

More specific details about the bus tour stop in Emporia, Kan., will become available as the time for the event draws closer. For live, up-to-the-minute updates from the road, follow the Education Drives America tour on Twitter using the hashtag #edtour12, or visit the Department’s bus tour blog. To receive media advisories, press releases, notifications about postings to the blog, and other special updates during the tour, subscribe to the Department’s Education Drives America e-mail updates by clicking here.