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DATE: August 14, 2000

CONTACT: Calvin Burns, 901/333-5338 or Stephanie Richards, 901/333-4368

STCC's Middle College High School to Host Education Chief

U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley will conduct a public forum titled America Goes Back To School from 1:15 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, August 30, on the Union Avenue Campus of Southwest Tennessee Community College, 737 Union Avenue. The forum will be held in the Jess H. Parrish Library. Middle College High School, which is housed at the Union Avenue Campus, is the host institution. The forum is open to the entire community.

Middle College High School was established in 1987. The school operates under a partnership between the Memphis City Schools and Southwest Tennessee Community College. Since opening its doors to 110 10th graders, Middle College High School has been able to fulfill the Middle College mission of providing a quality high school education while preparing students for college and careers in the marketplace.   

Joyce Mitchell serves as principal at Middle College High School. She explained that Secretary Riley's visit to Southwest Tennessee Community College is part of his America Goes Back To School tour. The event is in support of  the Partnership for Family Involvement in Education (PFIE).

This initiative is designed to promote  local, state and community involvement in school activities.

Last year Secretary Riley's participation in America Goes Back To School was a bus trip along the I-85 corridor stopping in towns in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. These states are particularly noteworthy because in the last 10 years, over half the job growth in the country has occurred in the southeast due in large part to the commitment of the citizens to form partnerships with their schools.

In response to a call from President Clinton and Vice President Gore to strengthen rural communities in the 21st Century, Secretary Riley has committed the Department of Education to promoting educational opportunities in rural areas and in the Delta.

To highlight this commitment in these new markets, Secretary Riley is planning his America Goes Back To School bus trip this year from Sunday, August 27 through Thursday, August 31. The Education Express will stop in towns along the Mississippi River in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri and Illinois.

Southwest Tennessee Community College is a Tennessee Board of Regents institution.