Meriden Prepares for Visit From First Lady

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The First Lady of the United States is coming to Connecticut. Dr. Jill Biden will be in Meriden next Wednesday. Mayor Kevin Scarpati says it’s been about 70 years since a president has visited Meriden, and it’s believed that next week will mark the first time a first lady has ever visited.

“We are beyond excited to know that the First Lady of the United States is going to be welcomed here into the Silver City,” said Scarpati.

For now, only two sentences reveal Dr. Jill Biden’s plans for Wednesday with more details to follow. But that’s enough to get the city buzzing about what they hope the first lady and educator will get a chance to see.

“Highlighting all that we’ve done to be an inclusive, creative, really 21st century model school district here in the City of Meriden,” said Scarpati.

Many expect her visit has something to do with Dr. Miguel Cardona and his nomination for education secretary. The Meriden native is a product of public schools, and at only 28-years-old, became the youngest principal in the state at Hanover Elementary.

Jennifer Kelley was hired by Cardona as assistant principal and is now the current principal. She spoke about what she learned from Cardona.

“To not be afraid to roll up your sleeves and get into the work, but also how to take a step back, look at systems. You cannot be the only person, and one of his big things is to build up the capacity of others,” said Kelley.

Kelley says it’s been wonderful to see Meriden schools and education in the spotlight. And while Biden’s schedule remains publicly unknown, Kelley says if the first lady drops by, she already knows what she wants to highlight.

“It’s just so many different parts of Meriden that come together, and it’s one school. Everybody is included. It’s a very inclusive place, and it works,” said Kelley.

The senate is set to vote to confirm Cardona for education secretary on Monday.

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