U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley visited Old Court Middle School in Baltimore County yesterday during orientation for sixth-graders.
Accompanied by school Superintendent Anthony G. Marchione, Mr. Riley spoke to more than 100 parents and sixth-graders before sitting in on an orientation session and taking a tour of the school.
Mr. Riley stopped at La Plata High School in Charles County Wednesday. Old Court was his second stop as he travels the country visiting schools gearing up for the academic year.
"Certainly, what I have heard about Old Court has been very positive," Mr. Riley said. "Young people decide a lot of crucial things at this age, and it is important that we have good middle schools."
Dr. Marchione said he was "thrilled" when Mr. Riley's office asked whether the Cabinet member could visit a county school. He said he chose Old Court because of its innovative programs to make the school the "new" Old Court Middle.
Carolyn Bell came to the school last night with her grandson Corey, 11, and said she was impressed with the school and with Mr. Riley's visit.
"I was surprised to see him here," Mrs. Bell said. "Maybe this will lead to them sending some more funding this way."