Fw: Dr. Biden Travel pool report #1

----- Original Message -----
From: Rhodan, Maya - Time U.S.  [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Wednesday, March 02, 2016 04:22 PM
To: Gleeson, James
Subject: Dr. Biden Travel pool report #1

Good afternoon!

Dr. Jill Biden arrived at the Andrews Air Force base at approximately 4:15pm wearing dark sunglasses and a black jacket over a dark green dress. She greeted service members before walking swiftly up the steps.

Once on board, Dr. Biden chatted with the students who are joining her en route to Houston, where she will greet astronaut Scott Kelly when he returns to the U.S. after spending a little over one year in space. One of the students, a young woman, complimented her necklace.

We'll be rolling shortly to Houston

Here's more on the students traveling with Dr. Biden, on background from a White House official:

As part of her Joining Forces initiative, Dr. Biden invited three military-connected students from Aberdeen High School in Aberdeen, Maryland to travel with her to Houston, Texas today to tour the Johnson Space Center and welcome home American astronaut Scott Kelly from a year in space.

Aberdeen High School is one of more than 100 schools nationwide that has benefited from the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) College Readiness Program for Military Families. In 2014, the school was named NMSI’s ‘School of the Year’ for its outstanding gains in student achievement. In just one year, their number of passing scores on AP math, science and English exams jumped 137 percent—nearly 20 times the national average. The program specifically broadens access to rigorous Advanced Placement (AP) coursework in math, science and English. At the high school level, the program supports and expands campus AP programs, providing extensive training for teachers, more time on task for students and equipment and supplies to support AP classes and labs. Training, resources and support are also provided to the middle and elementary schools that feed into the high schools so students arrive better prepared for the rigors of these classes. Because the AP curriculum is uniform across the country, NMSI’s program provides excellence and continuity for students whenever and wherever their families are transferred.

Since 2011, Joining Forces has partnered with NMSI to improve the caliber of STEM education at military-serving schools across the country. In honor of the school’s outstanding achievements, students and teachers were invited to a special reception at the Vice President’s Residence at the Naval Observatory last April to celebrate new commitments made by the Department of Defense and a coalition of partners to expand NMSI’s College Readiness Program for Military Families. AP Environmental Science teacher Yvonne Gabriel was at the event and is here today, with three more exceptional Aberdeen students from military families:

Kelly Pysh, Grade 12

Kelly was born in Seoul, South Korea. She moved to Ft. Campbell, Kentucky at the age of nine to live with her aunt and uncle. They lovingly adopted both Kelly and her little sister soon after their move. In the three years of her stay at Ft. Campbell, her aunt supported her through learning English and adjusting to a new culture with her uncle deployed for more than two years. Shortly upon her uncle’s return, the family was stationed at Aberdeen Proving Ground. Kelly is now a senior at the Science and Mathematics Academy at Aberdeen High School. She does not know where she will be heading for college yet, but she is excited to hear acceptance decisions from the schools at the end of this month. She plans on double majoring in Economics and Music. Kelly is the president of National Honor Society, the chapter co-founder and the co-president of Science National Honor Society, the co-president of Green Team, the secretary of Tri-M Music Honor Society, the captain of the Varsity Tennis team, and the section leader of A Cappella Choir. Her biggest passion is music, and she has been selected for All-County, All-State, and All-National Honor Choirs. Kelly took seven AP classes in the past years, and she is currently taking four AP classes. Her favorite AP courses were AP Statistics and AP Environmental Science. She received 5s on AP English Literature and Composition and AP Calculus AB.

Brandon Casquete, Grade 10

Brandon Casquete is a 16 year old sophomore at Aberdeen High School. He is of American Indian heritage and has been in a military family his whole life and because of that I’ve been able to live and see some amazing countries. He has lived and matriculated in Cairo, Egypt and in Maryland, Kansas, and Georgia in The United States. He has a 3.1 grade point average and is in the Project Lead the Way Engineering Program that articulates with University of Maryland Baltimore County. He plans on taking Advanced Placement English, Biology, Chemistry, and Calculus AB over his next two years. He works as part of the Morning Announcements team and is a varsity swimmer.

Sara Decker, Grade 11

Sara Decker is a junior at Aberdeen High School. Sara was born in Sulzbach, Germany to a military family. After a year in Germany, she returned with her parents to the United States. Sara has lived in Germany, Minnesota, Kansas, Illinois, New York, and Maryland and has attended a total of nine schools. Sara is tracking to graduate with 10 AP classes and has a 4.0 unweighted GPA, putting her in the top 10% of her class. Sara is a cross country captain and a member of the track team as well as the National Honor Society. Sara is a member of all-county choir and all-county cross country. She is a three time state qualifier for track and cross country and holds a school record. Sara is a recipient of the Judith Resnick Award, an award granted to female juniors who excel in science and math. During the summer, Sara volunteers her time as a camp counselor. Sara is planning to major in biology in order to become a zoologist. She is planning to run in college. She currently lives in Havre de Grace, MD, with her dad, LTC Curt Decker; her mom, Sheila Decker; her three siblings, Anna, Joey, and Daniel; and her dog, Liesl.

Yvonne Gabriel, Science Teacher

Mrs. Gabriel is a National Board Certified science teacher with 20 years of experience. She teaches in the prestigious Mathematics & Science Academy at Aberdeen High School. She currently teaches AP Environmental Science and has a passing rate of 95% on the AP exam. She teaches Science Research & Technology to 11th and 12th grades and acts as a mentor for senior capstone projects. She also teaches Kinesiology and Sports Physiology at Aberdeen High School. She is a curriculum writer for Harford County Public Schools and serves as a pilot teacher for the Bring Your Own Technology Device Program. She is married to Joseph Gabriel and has a son, Tyler and a daughter, Hope. Her passions include teaching, learning, running, and being an ice hockey and soccer mom.

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