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Wednesday, February 2, 2011 - 6:09am

Obama Courts Commencement Invitations

Updated: 6 years ago.
President Barack Obama greets students from Kalamazoo Central High School's graduating class, during a surprise appearance in a gym at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Mich., June 7, 2010. The President later delivered the school's commencement address after they won the 2010 Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza.)

The White House is offering public high schools across the country a chance to win a commencement address by President Barack Obama.

For the second year in a row, the White House is challenging students to demonstrate how their school prepares them for college and a career.

Obama will speak at the winning school's graduation, as he did last year at Michigan's Kalamazoo Central High School.

The contest is part of Obama's Race to the Top education initiative to reform the nation's schools. The White House says more than 1,000 high schools competed in last year's contest.