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For the past few years, Central High School government teacher Andrew Taylor has had his students write letters to various public officials requesting them to come speak to the school.
Over that time Representative Scott DesJarlais and State Representative Judd Matheny have made the trip to speak. Senators Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander have had office representatives contact the school. But this year the most powerful man in the land sent a response – President Barack Obama.
In response to letters sent from Taylor’s students, The White House sent a packet to the students that included a signed letter from Obama, an 8×10 glossy photo of the president and information about The White House and the presidency.
“We did it last year,” explained Taylor, “and actually we wrote Vice President [Joe] Biden, the First Lady [Michelle Obama] and the president. We got a call back from The White House saying, basically, we got your letters and we appreciate you sending them. Mrs. [Debra] Thorington [at the front desk] almost hung up on them because she thought it was a prank.”
This year The White House returned the favor by sending a letter instead of making a phone call to the school.
“This year we did the same thing. Wrote letters and put them all in a big brown envelope and shipped them on up there [at the beginning of the semester.] This is what we got back,” said Taylor, showing off the letter.
He added that the timing was good as his students are wrapping up the year by studying the government’s executive branch.
Taylor added that Biden and Michelle Obama have both declined to speak to the school due to their busy schedule.
“The students are very involved,” he added. “When they wrote the letters I didn’t limit what they could write about I just asked them to use some tact. They write about everything from education to war.”