This is the story of a young man, Paul Serrato, who graduated first in his class at Apalachee High School in Barrett County in Georgia. His parents emigrated from Mexico, where they had hard lives. He too had to work hard. Nothing came easily. Paul understands and acknowledges the sacrifices that others made on his behalf.


He was accepted at Stanford University.


Here is the video of his speech at graduation.


Public education gave him opportunity, and he made the most of it.


My favorite line from his speech: “We may be self-directed, but we were not self-made.” His family, his teachers, his classmates helped him succeed.


This is public education at its finest. Doors open to all, without a lottery.


This community can be proud of its schools.