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Posted at 1:47 PM ET, 03/ 7/2011

Obama, Australian PM visit Va. school

By Christy Goodman

President Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard made an unexpected visit Monday to an AP History class at Wakefield High School in Arlington.

The two leaders, along with Education Secretary Arne Duncan, surprised 22 juniors in Colette Fraley's AP History class, where Gillard gave an impromptu quiz on Australia, according to White House press pool reports. Obama and Gillard also answered several questions posed by the students, including those about Australia's recent flooding, cyclones and vegemite, a black salty paste, said the report.

"We are extremely honored that President Obama, Prime Minister Gillard and Secretary Duncan devoted time from their schedules today to engage our students in such a special way," said Christian Willmore, Wakefield's principal, in a statement. "The relevance of our students' daily work in the classroom is heightened when they have an opportunity to spend time with role models from our community and beyond."

The dignitaries also sang "Happy Birthday" to Fraley, a 10-year educator and Teacher of the Year in Arlington and Region IV of Virginia.

This was Obama's second visit to Wakefield High. He talked to the students about education in September, 2009.

By Christy Goodman  | March 7, 2011; 1:47 PM ET
Categories:  Virginia  
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Impromptu visit? You mean every kid and teacher in the school didn't receive a skin search, with the Secret Service checking and making sure every milk carton is sealed? These whole "surprise visits", whether they be to high schools or more peaceful places like Iraq, do not exactly live up to their names.

Posted by: Nemo24601 | March 7, 2011 6:41 PM | Report abuse

I went to Yorktown, but I actually think it's pretty awesome that Obama has been to Wakefield twice now (including the first time when he went to "indoctrinate" students on the first day of school). I wish he and the First Lady would interact more with the DC-area black community. I'd like to see them visiting schools that are much tougher than those in Arlington, actually (has he been to any public DC high schools?).

Posted by: justin_timberwolf | March 8, 2011 1:51 PM | Report abuse

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