Obama’s FEA students make wonderful trek to D.C., Baltimore


Brandon Hutton, The Eagle Senior Writer

The members of the Future Educators Association of Obama, Langley, Westinghouse, and Brashear took a bus to Baltimore, Maryland to participate in the FEA National Conference. It was the first time that every chapter within the Pittsburgh Public Schools went and it was the second time for Langley. Although Obama registered a bit late, they still were able to participate in everything besides the competitions.

               On the way down to Baltimore, the Pittsburgh Public bus made a trip in Washington D.C. to see the new Martin Luther King memorial that was recently built there. Obama, being the school we are, took a picture of the students in front of it with our swag flags. Along with a sculpture of Martin Luther King, the memorial featured many of King’s quotes behind him.

               Upon arriving in Baltimore on Friday, we sat our things down into our room and then the members had to get dressed up for the upcoming dinner. The first dinner’s main speaker was Arne Duncan: the United States Secretary of Education. He gave us insides on what’s happening with education: that STEM is being majorly supported and they are trying to get more funding for teachers. Although a basic speech, it was still a new experience for many students. Students were also given the opportunity to ask the secretary questions.

               Saturday was the day of learning for the students in FEA. After breakfast was eaten, the students then proceeded to the conference room. They were going to be splitting up into groups and were given a list of workshops that they could attend, each about an hour each from ten a.m. until three a.m. There were workshops upon legality in the classroom to how to get a teaching job. Then, FEA members went back to hear America Ferrara’s speech.

               America Ferrara is the main role in Ugly Betty. She spoke about how she once planned to be an educator or a person of international affairs. She said that international affairs were her calling and she felt that she would help more people as a diplomat or something as such, but then her professor told her a story of a person much like America Ferrara. There was a woman, the professor said, that was Hispanic and wanted to go to college. However, her parents were giving up on her. Then, the professor showed her parents one of America Ferrara’s films, “Real Women Have Curves,” and the parents saved money for the girl to go to college. Upon hearing this, Ferrara decided to go into acting.

               Sunday was much like the first day: eat food and listen to motivational speaking. The students were treated to a short speech by a member who was given motivation by her grandmother and then the next speaker was Michelle Shearer. She was named the 2011 National Teacher of the Year. She told students to keep pursuing the field of education and gave tips on how to teach in the future.