He told Wessling and the teachers representing other states that at a time of state budget shortfalls, “I’m committed to doing every single thing that I can do to support your work.”

“You’re the key to our success in the global economy—preparing our kids to compete at a time when a nation’s most valuable currency is the knowledge and skills of its people,” Obama said to the gathered educators.

Wessling, who accepted a trophy in the form of a glass apple from the president, said later that she and her family had met with Obama in the Oval Office. She said her son was about ready to lose his first tooth and Obama wiggled it.

“Our dream for our students is the same dream we have for our own children—to be recognized for their strengths, to learn from their weaknesses, and to be seen as a person of infinite potential,” she wrote in her blog entry.

Links:

Video of White House ceremony

Wessling’s blog entry

Council of Chief State School Officers