The President In Miami
2:51 am
Mon March 10, 2014

How A Presidential Visit Affected Coral Reef High School

Students and teachers at Coral Reef High School can't pinpoint when they first heard the news that President Obama was coming to speak. He and the First Lady visited the south Miami-Dade school on Friday to ask students to apply for free federal student aid before they graduate.

President Obama was accompanied by his wife to meet select students before he came out and spoke in the gymnasium.
President Obama was accompanied by his wife to meet select students before he came out and spoke in the gymnasium.
Credit Walter Michot / Miami Herald

Rumors had been floating around the high school since the previous week because of some strange things they saw. 

"Students started observing secret service around the building, so they started making comments, asking teachers," says chemistry teacher Stefano Pagani. 

Janice Mills, engineering teacher, also spotted something peculiar.

"My door was painted," says Mills. "And some repairs were going on and I was like, 'Why?'"

But how did the President's visit affect the school day? Pagani said, "We didn't cover that much basically because many students were absent."

Senior Olivia Galeiras says some underclassmen didn't come in Friday "because they knew that there wasn't enough room for them in the gym." She says students weren't allowed to bring their backpacks that day. Alexander Herrera, a junior, says he feels "good" about that. 

"That kind of meant that we wouldn't be doing much work," says Herrera. 

But after the commotion, Coral Reef High School is back to normal this week.

Read more about President Obama's plea to the students here. He said last year, one-hundred million dollars of federal student aid were left untouched in Florida.