Marc Loiselle graduated from Marymount this May with his Master of Education in Secondary Education for History and Social Science. Earlier in the spring, when he was student-teaching in Lilo Stephens’ 7th-grade American Studies class at Kenmore Middle School in Arlington, Virginia, Marc was asked to have some of his students make a special presentation for an important visitor.
President Barack Obama came to Kenmore on March 14 to give a speech on education and the future of the No Child Left Behind program. While there, he took the time to have the students show him what they were learning.
Marc’s students presented an overview of how blues and ragtime music became jazz during the Harlem Renaissance. He says, “President Obama really took his time with the kids. And he was so knowledgeable. He told them what jazz he liked and signed the students’ presentation board. He also talked with the kids about his own experiences in middle school.” It was a day the youngsters will long remember; Marc says, “All they wanted to talk about for days afterward was the President and No Child Left Behind.”
A former Army platoon leader who served two tours in Iraq, Marc happened to be wearing Marine boots the day the President visited his school. Mr. Obama noticed and asked him about his service. U.S. Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan, who was also present, took advantage of the opportunity to talk with Marc about his transition from the military to teaching. Marc says, “I told him that it was more difficult than I thought it would be. It was hard adjusting to being back and figuring out the benefits process. I was happy to hear him say that he is looking into streamlining the process for returning veterans.”