Victoria Wildhorn, an eighth grade student in Palm Beach County School District’s Christa McAuliffe Middle School, will attend the Middle School Presidential Inaugural Conference being held in conjunction with the Inauguration of President Barack Obama. Principal Jeff Silverman commented that Victoria is an excellent representative for the county and her school, further stating that Victoria Wildhorn is a straight “A” student who carries a full load of advanced courses.
Victoria attends a school which was named in honor of Christa McAuliffe. In 1985, Christa McAuliffe was selected from more than 11,000 applicants to participate in the NASA Teacher in Space Project and was scheduled to become the first teacher in space. As a member of mission STS-51-L, she was planning to conduct experiments and teach two lessons from Space Shuttle Challenger. On January 28, 1986, the spacecraft disintegrated 73 seconds after launch. After McAuliffe's death, schools and scholarships were named in her honor, and also in 2004 she was posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor. An interesting note to Victoria attending the upcoming conference is that Victoria is in a leadership capacity at her school as the editor-in-chief of the school’s newspaper, the Challenger Chronicles.
The Conference is set for January 19-23 and includes presentations from former first daughters of President George W. Bush, Barbara Pierce Bush and Jenna Bush Hager. Among many activities/discussions/presentations at the conference, Inaugural Scholars will study all of the critical roles the President plays, including Chief Executive, Commander in Chief, Party Leader, Chief Diplomat and Head of State. In addition, Inaugural Scholars are introduced to the roles of the president’s Cabinet and examine the function and importance of the Secretaries of Defense, National Security and State, as well as other roles in the president’s administration, including Chief of Staff, First Lady and Vice President.
This is a wonderful experience for a student to be a part of our country’s celebration and tradition. Victoria will experience our heritage in a special way and will have much to share on her return to her family, school and community. So, Victoria-- congratulations, all the best, cherish the moments and enjoy.
REF: PBCSD (Press Release) Public Affairs Office. January 2013.