Sen. Michael Bennet tours Early College Academy in Greeley | MyWindsorNow.com

Sen. Michael Bennet tours Early College Academy in Greeley

James Redmond
jredmond@greeleytribune.com

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., walked straight to the back of the Early College Academy class, knelt down and started talking to a ninth grader whose eyes went wide when he recognized the U.S. Senator at his side.

Within seconds Jorge Aldana Flores relaxed, and started smiling as he chatted with the U.S. official about his classes and school and reasons for choosing to attend an early college program.

"It's pretty cool," Aldana Flores said about Bennet taking the time to get to know him.

Bennet spent the better part of an hour chatting with students and local education officials during his visit to the Greeley-Evans School District 6 facility.

Resoundingly students told the senator they chose the early college program for a chance to save money on college by completing half of it early. The increasing price of college is an important point, Bennet said after his tour. As a former Denver public school superintendent he said he worries about the state of education and what students have to overcome.

The time he didn't spend talking with students, he spent asking about the history and operation of the early college school.

Recommended Stories For You

Principal Gordon Bocshman talked the senator through the school's partnership with Aims Community College that allows students to work toward graduating high school with a two-year college degree.

"We have high expectations of for the kids, but also high support for them," he said.

Aims Associate Dean for pre-college pathways Libby Klingsmith answered Bennet's questions about the sort of professors the school looked to hire. Most the original professors had predominately high education background, but adapted quickly to the high school environment, she said.

However, now they try and find professors with backgrounds in both and a passion for high school teaching, Klingsmith said, calling it the 'sweet spot.'

In the hallways students called out as he passed by. "Him right there, that's Senator Bennet," a student said just before another asked to take photos with him.

Talk to your senator

To learn more about Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., or to find contact information for the election official, go online to: http://www.bennet.senate.gov.