Craig Hockenberry

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Craig Hockenberry: SHHHH!!! It is the First Lady!

Craig Hockenberry: SHHHH!!! It is the First Lady!

My first year as Principal of Oyler School in Cincinnati Public I received a phone call from the Office of the First Lady of the United States. The caller simply asked if I was Craig Hockenberry [C1] and then proceed to inform me that he was calling on behalf of the first lady of the United States of America. My first thoughts were that someone was joking with me, however it was clear within a few minutes that this was not a joke. They asked me to keep this quiet and that a secret service agent would arrive soon and give me details.

Sure enough I left my office and went outside to process the news and before I even opened the door I received a call from the United States Secret Service. It was official, the First Lady of the United States would be arriving at my school in less than three days. The secret service set-up some times to arrive at Oyler and I immediately began a checklist of everything that need to be done to prepare for her visit.

The first area that needed addressed was getting the building clean. It was summer time so the cleaning schedule was different. I turned this over to Bob Walters our plant operator who worked around the clock. He did everything from cleaning the ceiling to power washing the outside of the building. In 15 years I had never seen the building look so good. He did one heck of job.

Then we had to prepare the kids as she was scheduled to read them a book in the school library. I turned this over to two of the most talent teachers I have ever worked with Wanda Neville and Bonnie Roe. They practice everything with them. They had the entire day planned out from a child’s point of view. We were in great shape.

We worked with the Cincinnati Police, Cincinnati Public Schools, community members, Oyler partners, and the media.

The first lady was coming to Oyler School in Lower Price Hill!

On the day of the arrival all of my staff was dress in red, white, and blue as we anxiously awaited her arrive. About three hours before she arrived six black suburban’s pulled-up on the sidewalk and out came five of the largest men I had seen since my college football days. All of them were dressed in black suites and sunglasses.

I greeted them and turned the entire facility over to them so they could begin their work. They put snipers on the roof, they hide several armed men on different floors and turned loose bomb dogs throughout the building. I just watched in awe at the level of security.

Now, the work is done. All is quiet. We waited and waited.

The kids looked out the windows of the library their faces smashed against the window. Crowds were forming outside. I could hear the Secret Service radio going off with coded messages. Then I heard on of the students said….

SHHHH!!! It is the First Lady!

Everyone turned and she got out of the car in a perfectly pressed turquoise suite and walked straight to the door of the school. When she entered she reached her hand out and she you must be Craig Hockenberry

By Craig Hockenberry


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