I was at a conference in Washington D.C. in the late 90s for an exclusive group of winners. We came from 31 school districts and 26 states. Our proposals had been chosen from more than 5,000 from across the country, to be funded by the U.S. Department of Education.
Five years of funding, with an average of three-quarter of a million dollars to each of us to support academically at-risk middle schoolers in their learning challenges.
The feds present that day wanted to make sure we knew both how special we were and how much was expected of us.
The first presenter walked to the podium in that Hilton ballroom. We leaned forward with pens and notebooks, poised to record all the stuff we would need to know to implement our grant projects.
She removed her glasses, peered out at us and paused.