U.S. Department of Education Assistant Secretary Deb Delisle to Visit Richmond, Va., as Part of 2012 Cross-Country Back-to-School Bus Tour Promoting Education

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As part of the U.S. Department of Education’s third annual back-to-school bus tour, on Thursday, Sept. 20, Deb Delisle, assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education, will visit T.C. Boushall Middle School in Richmond, Va., and Nuckols Farm Elementary School in nearby Henrico County, Va. Deputy Assistant Secretary for External Affairs and Outreach Massie Ritsch will join Delisle for both school visits.

Delisle will tour Boushall Middle School at 8:45 a.m. and host a roundtable with students, teachers and educators to hear how the school is using a $1.7 million School Improvement Grant from the U.S. Department of Education to improve student achievement. Patricia Wright, Virginia’s superintendent of public instruction; Yvonne Brandon, superintendent of Richmond Public Schools; Widad Abed, principal of Boushall Middle School; and other school officials will attend the event.

In the afternoon, Delisle will visit Nuckols Farm Elementary School, which was named a 2012 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. Henrico County Public Schools Superintendent Patrick Russo, Principal Mary Cox, other school officials and a Congressional representative will join Delisle. They will recognize the school’s hard work and applaud the staff and students for receiving this prestigious award. The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students perform at very high levels or where significant improvements are being made in students’ levels of academic achievement.

Delisle’s visit precedes U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s planned stop at Henderson Middle School in Richmond on Friday, Sept. 21, to highlight First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign and to promote the new Presidential Youth Fitness Program that encourages and empowers students to adopt and maintain active lifestyles. In addition to Delisle’s school visits and Duncan’s scheduled stop, other senior Department of Education officials will visit Richmond for more events on Friday, Sept. 21.

“America’s future is directly linked to the quality of education that we provide our children, young people and adults,” said Duncan, who began the tour on Wednesday, Sept. 12, in Redwood City, Calif. “Education is the key to a vibrant middle class, strong national security and our global economic competitiveness.”

The bus tour will conclude on Friday evening, Sept. 21, with a back-to-school speech by Duncan and performances by musical artists on the Department’s plaza in Washington, D.C. Besides Richmond, some of the other stops included Sacramento, Calif.; Reno, Nev.; Cheyenne, Wyo.; Denver; Topeka, Kan.; Kansas City, Mo.; St. Louis; Evansville, Ind.; Lexington, Ky.; Charleston, W.Va.; and Roanoke, Va.

For live, up-to-the-minute updates from the road, follow the Education Drives America tour on Twitter using the hashtag #edtour1, 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 new Education Drives America e-mail updates by clicking here.