Booker T. Washington school vies to win Obama at commencement - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Booker T. Washington school vies to win Obama at commencement

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(AP) - (WMC-TV) - The White House says six high schools - including Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis - have been chosen as finalists in a competition to land President Barack Obama as their commencement speaker.

Thousands of high schools across the nation competed for the annual honor, which is partly based on performance, like BTW's 82 percent graduation rate.

"It's 100 percent African American, 95 percent poor, but it is so rich in staff, expectations, and trying to be the best they can be," superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash said.

Other schools vying for the honor are Bridgeport High School in Bridgeport, Wash.; Wayne Early Middle College High School in Goldsboro, N.C.; Science Park High School in Newark, N.J.; Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12, School for Creative and Performing Arts; and High Tech High International in San Diego.

The six schools will be narrowed to three in the coming weeks through an online vote here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/commencement

Obama will pick the winner and speak at its commencement ceremony.

The competition is in its second year. Last year, Obama spoke at Michigan's Kalamazoo Central High School.

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. The AP contributed to this story.

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