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Miami Central High To Welcome Obama & Bush

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Barack Obama became the 44th president of the United States on January, 20th, 2009 and the first African American President in the history of the U.S. (Photo credit: AP)

Barack Obama became the 44th president of the United States on January, 20th, 2009 and the first African American President in the history of the U.S. (Photo credit: AP)

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MIAMI (CBS4) – There are some happy seniors at Miami Central Senior High. Not only are they college bound, but they are about to get a visit from a former governor and the President of the United States.

It’s a far cry from the down and out feeling Ashley Wyche had four-years-ago.

She recalled, “We were a five-time “F” (rated) school; and people outside the school always talked bad, like we were dumb.”

Then came the turnaround, the kind pushed by former Florida governor, Jeb Bush; and the one now preached by President Obama.

Both will visit the school together Friday. They will hear about the emphasis on higher standards, the sweep that brought in a new principal and pushed out many teachers.

The two men will also hear about the fresh energy provided by young teachers just out of college who are working for Teach for America.

John Thornburgh is one of them. He is teaching 12th grade government classes at Miami Central.

“I think students expect more of themselves to begin with, and I think that comes from both the teachers and the students,” Thornburgh said.

What a difference a few years makes. Miami Central has earned a “C” ranking, its best to date. Wyche is headed off to college to pursue an art career and her spirits are soaring.

She said of the school makeover, “They kicked out students who were not serious about education, brought in newer teachers fresh from college, tutors to help us.”

And now President Obama and a former governor will praise Miami Central’s efforts as they try to help right what is wrong with a U.S. education system falling behind international peers.

Wyche beamed when she said, “It is a great honor for Obama to choose our school. I think it is a prize Central won.”

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