I was chosen to introduce the president. The White House called me and they said, "Timothy, we just wanted to let you know that you are up for grabs to introduce President Obama." I felt happy. I felt like this is a privilege, that I get to introduce President Obama. I was really excited -- the excitement pretty much stayed through the whole weekend.
When I was writing the introduction it was like, "Oh my gosh, how do you introduce the President of the United States?" I really didn't know what to say. I did write the speech. I had help from my mom and I stayed in touch with the White House back and forth and they just wanted to see what I was writing and they were there to help me.
When I met President Obama we were at Wakefield behind the stage -- to the right of the stage -- and we're standing back stage and we're waiting for President Obama to come up and we're watching the monitor. First Secretary Arne Duncan comes up and I'm talking to him for a while. Then President Obama jogs up the steps and he's like, "Where's Tim Spicer?" and then he hands me this "challenge coin."
A challenge coin is what they give to certain individuals that have met the president or the president gives one to the students. I guess it's a challenge to see how you won't quit on your country or a challenge to you to succeed in your country. On the challenge coin, it had his name engraved in it, it said "the 44th president" and on the back it had the White House.
He asked me about college, what sports I played. Then after that he talked about how we go on stage, how he'd shake my hand and basically the protocol of how we'd go out.
Actually President Obama took all of my nerves away when I was nervous. He was so calm and relaxed that I just felt comfortable introducing President Obama. I have stood in front of my classmates before so standing in front of my classmates wasn't the problem. But standing before the nation -- that was a big thing.
President Obama's speech was very motivating. After he gave the speech, I felt ready and amped to start school. He basically said if you quit education, you quit on your country and I'm not ready to quit on my country one bit and I dont think I will. I believe that he made everone feel welcome, that they were part of the country, that they do have a goal and a mission.
My mom was excited -- she still is excited until this day. I mean, it was a lot of work and at the end it was just a true blessing to see her smile
I didnt hear any of my classmates say anything about Obama's speech, they were more focused on "Tim, how did President Obama's hand feel? How did he look? How did he smell? What did he say?" They were really enthused and really excited to hear what President Obama had to say to me.
I thought the controversy was pointless. There was no reason that there should have been controversy about a president speaking at a school because I am 100 percent sure that past presidents have spoken to children at school. Now being that the parents were kind of angry and upset, I thought that was, I guess you could say ignorant. In the end I think the students should have had the say so about whether or not they wanted to see President Obama's speech because in the end the students are receiving an education, not the parents.
The best part of the whole day was when President Obama got on stage and he said "How 'bout Tim Spicer?" So that really put my name out there and I've been getting a lot of emails and congratulations from colleges and from friends.