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U.S. labor secretary to speak at Lawndale charter school graduation

May 11, 2010 |  2:39 pm

U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis will deliver the commencement address at Lawndale’s Environmental Charter High School after it was named a finalist in a White House contest, officials announced Tuesday.

The Obama administration invited the nation’s public high schools earlier this year to submit applications to its "Race to the Top" commencement challenge designed to highlight higher education.

More than 1,000 schools applied.

Of the six finalists, Kalamazoo Central High School in Kalamazoo, Mich., was selected as the national winner and will welcome President Obama as its commencement speaker.

The other five schools were promised a Cabinet secretary or senior administration official as their speakers.

Environmental Charter stood out because of its challenging classroom programs and requirement that students apply concepts to problem-solve local civic and environmental issues, White House officials said.

The Lawndale school's graduation will be held June 24.

-- Corina Knoll