U.S education secretary visits Omaha

U.S. DOE Secretary Cardona among several Biden cabinet members dispatched after the president’s State of the Union address.
U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona visited Bryan High School today.
Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 12:28 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The head of the U.S. Department of Education paid a visit to two Omaha-metro high schools on Wednesday.

Secretary Miguel Cardona came to Nebraska today to see how one high school blends careers with the classroom. He is one of several of President Biden’s Cabinet members making post-State of the Union visits to various parts of the country, in addition to the president himself.

Secretary Cardona’s visit focused on Career Pathways and mental health programs at Bryan High School, where he toured the school’s two academies — on urban agriculture, design, and construction; and transportation and logistics — and talked with students about their experience with career-technical education, or CTE, programs.

From the tortoise and the hare in the urban agriculture academy to its greenhouse, in many cases Wednesday, students led the way.

You don’t often see a semi-driving simulator at school. But at Bryan High, it’s all about creating hands-on experiences and finding things that will translate to the outside world.

“I chose to come to this school the day after listening to him because you do it right,” Secretary Cardona said.

Bryan juniors and seniors also shared their perspectives on how what’s happening in OPS could work in other school districts.

“The Career Pathways at this school are more evolved than schools I’ve seen,” Cardona said. “Not only connecting pathways to careers outside of school, but pathways and skills that can transfer from one career to another.”

One student told the secretary that it comes down to quality programs and quality teachers. In fact, the student mentioned one teacher by name — and before he left Omaha, the Secretary of Education wanted to meet that teacher.

He did. That teacher is Mr. Allen.

“At the end of the day, it’s a people business,” Cardona said. “You have to love kids.”

Cardona also talked Wednesday with principals, superintendents, and therapists in a roundtable about mental health services provided to students, particularly those in rural communities.

After the trip to Bryan High, the education secretary traveled to La Vista to talk about mental health when it comes to rural students.

This is a developing story. Stay with 6 News for updates.