News Archive

Randolph Staffer Goes to Washington

Preschool teacher part of White House press conference, featured in national media stories

4/16/2009 1:10:29 PM


Kelly Kirkwood (right) on the podium with President Barack Obama

LYNCHBURG — A Randolph College staff member was one of a handful of working Americans invited to a small roundtable discussion at the White House this week.

Kelly Kirkwood, a preschool teacher at the college’s nursery school, and her husband Scott traveled to Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, April 15 at the request of President Barack Obama. The couple joined other working Americans to discuss their situations with the president and his staff.

The Kirkwoods then joined several other Americans onstage with Obama during a press conference that dealt with tax changes. The president’s remarks specifically pointed out the Kirkwoods. “Now, I just had a conversation with these wonderful Americans, and like people I talked to all across the country, they're not looking for a free ride,” Obama said. “Every single person here is working hard and deserves a chance to get ahead. And they're a family like -- families like the Kirkwoods, who just want to own their own business and put away some money away for their kids' college tuition..”

Kirkwood said the experience was one of those once-in-a-lifetime events.

“For us, it was just an amazing opportunity,” she said. “Not only were we able to meet the president, but we were able to tell him about our situation and situations of other working parents like us. He actually listened and was interested in our stories.”

This type of outreach is crucial in order to keep government officials in tune with those Americans who are impacted by decisions, Kirkwood said.

“A lot of times Washington just exists in a bubble, and for the president to actually hear from the people who are affected is very important,” she said.

For more information and to see several news stories featuring the Kirkwoods, please go to:

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CONTACT: Brenda Edson, Director of College Relations