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First lady, U.S. education secretary make historic visit to Connecticut


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    MERIDEN, Connecticut (WFSB) — The first lady made a historic visit to Connecticut on Wednesday.

First Lady Dr. Jill Biden scheduled a stop in Meriden, along with newly sworn-in U.S. education secretary Dr. Miguel Cardona, a native of the Silver City.

Their plane touched down at Bradley International Airport at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday morning.

The two went to Benjamin Franklin Elementary School in Meriden where they met with students and teachers and toured the school.

Dr. Jill Biden and Cardona are two are lifelong educators.

They’ll also be discussing how elementary schools can safely be reopened five days a week.

Cardona was raised in the city.

After working as a school principal, he then became assistant superintendent, and then Gov. Ned Lamont’s education commissioner.

Cardona’s success led him all the way to the nation’s capital, something of which the City of Meriden is proud.

“We’re just thrilled to have a leader who’s going to embrace public education and that public schools can be a great equalizer in our country,” said Mark Benigni, superintendent, Meriden Public Schools.

Cardona is now tasked with helping the White House reach its goal of having most elementary schools reopened five days a week within the first 100 days of President Joe Biden’s term.

“It’s been quite a few days for Connecticut’s world class school system,” said Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy. “Earlier this week, the Senate confirmed my friend and Meriden native Dr. Miguel Cardona to lead our country’s education policy as Secretary of Education. And now we get a visit from another lifelong advocate for educators and children, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden. The first lady’s visit to our state is another testament to the Biden administration’s commitment to improving our education system and getting our children and educators back into the classroom in a safe way. Although I’m here in Washington negotiating a COVID-19 relief package, I’m happy that the nation’s attention will be on the Silver City and its vibrant and diverse educational community.”

The trip to Meriden is Dr. Jill Biden’s first as first lady.

She continues to teach at a community college while fulfilling first lady duties.

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