Clark Montessori School in Hyde Park is a candidate for President Obama's White House Race to the Top Commencement Challenge.  If the school wins their campaign, President Barack Obama will be speaking at their commencement ceremony to be held at Crossroads Community Church on May 27.

The original application involved answering four essay questions and submitting a two minute video. It was entirely student run.  They emphasized the school as a model for educational success for other high schools across the country.  The contest was narrowed down to six after the original submissions. 

As one of six finalists for the special visit by Obama, the students have produced another video that is on the White House website to tell the school's story to voters.   

You will go on the site and vote on a weighted scale of 1-5 for each school.  From those results, the top three schools will be considered by the President and he will make a decision.

This Obama Administration initiative is part of his commitment to providing every child with an education that enables them to be successful in the global marketplace, where knowledge and innovation are key.

Voting has now started online.  If you want to vote for the school, click on the website and place your vote...and another...and another, no later than Thursday, April 29th, midnight. 

Clark Montessori was named a Bronze Medal School in the U.S. News and World Reports issue, "America's Best High Schools."  Pretty good for a school that has an open enrollment policy, with no entrance exams.  Even better, all students take four years of English, Science, Social Studies and Math on an honors level.  There are 659 students, 48% African American, 43% white and 9% Asian, Hispanic, American Indian and multi-racial. 

The school points with pride to their graduation statistics...99.5% of their Seniors graduate and 96% go on to college.  Every school wishes they could live up to those standards!  So, VOTE!  You can vote more than one time...the more the better, to increase Clark Montessori School's chances of winning.

The winner will be announced on May 4th.