'Just be excellent at everything': Governor tours OKC high school
Gov. Kevin Stitt made the most of a 45-minute visit to Southeast High School on Wednesday, touring the technology-focused application school, meeting with student leaders and dropping in on a couple of Advanced Placement classes.
Stitt, who has pledged to make Oklahoma a Top 10 state for education, shared his secret for success with students in Chele Crosby's AP language and composition class.
"Just be excellent at everything," he said.
The governor drew inspiration from a presentation by senior Brynna Tillman, who recounted four years at Southeast filled with activities that included volleyball, dance, pom squad and track. Tillman, 18, also serves as a Police Athletic League mentor and works two jobs while taking AP and college courses. She will attend the University of Oklahoma in the fall.
"What would you tell all of us out here that maybe haven't gotten as involved as you did in different organizations?" Stitt asked. "Do we just need to be asked? Because I find that sometimes people want to get involved; they just don't know how to. You've obviously done a ton of stuff in your high school career."
Tillman said it's important to "take the initiative and actually present yourself."
"For the most part, you always want to put yourself out there because you'll get noticed a lot more," she said. "And then you'll also have a lot of things to add on to your resume, which is really cool."
Then it was Tillman's turn to ask the questions.
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"What are your plans for the future of Oklahoma?" she asked the governor.
"How long do you have?" he replied.
Stitt told students he was a political newcomer who wanted to change the way government was run, that he started a business with $1,000 and a computer in 2000 that grew to 1,200 employees.
"Nobody knew my name; I had zero name ID," he said. "But the great thing about Oklahoma and our country is that anybody can raise their hand and get involved and say, 'I want to make a difference.'"