STOCKTON (CBS13) — A Stockton high school got unexpected national praise during President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday. A graphic during the speech singled out EdisonHigh School as an example for others to follow.
“We’re getting emails from the staff,” Principal Brian Biedermann said. “Kids are very excited about it, so there’s a lot of buzz going around campus right now.”
Biedermann says he had no idea the Stockton school would get a shoutout during the speech.
“I didn’t get a call from the president ,” he said, laughing.
The online enhanced version of the speech featured this message: “We need more schools like Stem Academy at Edison High School, Stockton, California.”
“It’s a huge deal , and for our kids that are set aside sometimes—south Stockton, oldest school in the district—it kinda pumps them up a little bit,” Biedermann said. “They were giggling about politics, of all things, and typically they’re worried more about what’s happening on Facebook.
The newly opened Stem Academy offers students a chance to learn robotics, engineering, and construction with state-of-the-art equipment. They’re even getting a 3-D printer as part of an ongoing $89 million remodel at Edison High.
Students like David Villapudua say the hands-on training is already making a difference .
“On our opening, the board was like, “How cool is it?College students don’t get to do this, and I was like, ‘Woo, yay.’ So I was pretty excited.” In the speech that lasted for more than an hour, the picture that was up for a mere 15 seconds will have an impact for years to come.
“It really validates what we’re doing,” Biedermann said.
The school is hoping the presidential exposure will give them more clout to bring in more grant money to keep building up the school. The Stem Academy cost about $6 million, and it was funded by the school district’s Measure Q construction bond Stockton voters passed in 2008.