It started out with a contest.
In January, Governor Bruce Rauner invited Illinois schools to submit videos showcasing what they are learning and how. The winner would receive a visit from the Governor. Over 100 videos were submitted. Katie Mense’s kindergarten class received the most votes of any school in the state. The video was filmed by Ethan Christopher.
On Monday, April 24, Governor Rauner fulfilled his promise and visited the NBE students.
First, Rauner was greeted at the door by Mense’s kindergartners holding signs welcoming the Governor. His first words to the students were “Go, Warriors!”
Students then led the Governor to the gymnasium where an assembly was held. Along with NBE teachers, staff, and students, members of the New Baden Village Board and Wesclin School Board were present.
Wesclin Superintendent Jennifer Filyaw led the assembly in the “Pledge of Allegiance.”
New Baden Elementary Principal Jamie Rahm presented the Governor with a Wesclin t-shirt and six-bottles of Ski stating “you can’t come to Clinton County without trying Ski.”
“It was so exciting that the Governor chose New Baden Elementary on his schools tour,” stated Superintendent Filyaw. “We have great teachers that are developing outstanding lessons for the excited young learners that come to our school every day and we were thrilled to show it off to the Governor.”
No one was more thrill than kindergarten teacher Katie Mense.
Having Governor Rauner come to our school was such an honor!! We were contacted at the end of last week, so we had to plan quickly. But, as always, our staff came together, always supportive of each other and willing to help in any way they can. It was a very exciting opportunity and also an amazing learning experience for our students at NBE. What a humbling event to actually have him choose a video of my teaching from hundreds of others. Wow! Just unbelievable!! I am just so incredibly thankful to the Governor for him taking the time out of his busy schedule to come and visit us!
“I was so excited when Governor Rauner’s office contacted me last week. His visit just happened to be scheduled during the very first day of our baseball unit! It couldn’t have been any more perfect timing.
“I knew Governor Rauner was a big Cubs fan and of course, here in New Baden, we are all Cardinal Fans. We did a fun, quick lesson that I think the Governor really enjoyed. We made a graph showing Cardinal fans vs. Cubs fans. Governor Rauner was such a good sport! So much fun!”
A video was shown during the assembly asking NBE students a variety of questions. One question was “What does the Governor do?” A little boy answered, “Works for people, makes money, and coaches soccer.”
Rauner said he was thrilled to be visiting NBE. “I get requests to visit schools both in person and on my social media pages, and I thought a Learning Tour would be a fun way to connect with the students of Illinois,” Rauner said about the video contest. “We all need to put children and education first. It’s the most important thing we can do as a community.”
On Thursday, April 27 at 11 a.m., Rauner is inviting classrooms in schools from across the state to interact with him live on Facebook. During the event, the Governor will answer questions from students what it’s like to work in the governor’s office and why he thinks providing high-quality education to children is so important. Students are encouraged to post questions to the Governor’s Facebook page now or live during the event.
“I really love visiting schools in our great state, but Illinois is a big place and getting to every classroom is nearly impossible. So we thought doing a Facebook Live would be a great way to connect with every single student at once.” Rauner said in a press release. “I think it’s going to be a lot of fun, too.”
It started out with a contest.