Skip to main content

Professors to experience history of Obama's inauguration

January 16, 2009

Two faculty members from Arizona State University’s College of Teacher Education and Leadership (CTEL) are headed to Washington to participate in events associated with the inauguration of Barack Obama.

Margarita Jimenez-Silva, an assistant professor of elementary education, will attend the inauguration ceremony as part of a group of 101 students and chaperones from Gilbert’s Mesquite Junior High School. Jimenez-Silva has a son who is a seventh-grader at the school. The group worked with Sen. John McCain’s office to obtain tickets to the reserved seating area for the Jan. 20 inauguration.

“I’m extremely excited to have the chance to experience the inauguration through the eyes of the next generation of voters,” Jimenez-Silva says. “The students will keep journals of their experiences, and I have been talking with them about the significant role such primary documents play in recording historic events.”

The group has started a blog to document its activities in Washington; the blog may be accessed at

Jimenez-Silva will join the Mesquite Junior High group at the Smithsonian Student Travel Inaugural Ball. Meanwhile, CTEL faculty member Kathleen Puckett will attend the Bytes & Books Inaugural Ball, presented by the National Coalition for Technology in Education and Training.

Puckett, associate professor of special education, was invited to the Bytes & Books Ball because of her role as president of the Council for Exceptional Children. CEC is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving educational outcomes for special-needs children. Puckett is inaugurated as CEC president on Jan. 16.

“I love being able to tell people that Barack Obama and I are being inaugurated during the same month,” Puckett says.

“In preparing to become CEC president, I traveled to the D.C. area this fall. I have never seen a city so excited,” she says. “Everyone on the Metro, from teachers to secretaries to health care workers, was chattering about how many visitors they would be hosting at their homes for the inauguration.”

Puckett and Jimenez-Silva are faculty members in CTEL, which prepares and inspires innovative educators to be leaders who apply evidence-based knowledge that positively impacts students, families and the community. CTEL achieves this goal through collaboration with educational and civic communities. More information is available at