A batboy, schoolchildren, a school principal, CEOs and an Ohio worker are attending Tuesday night's State of the Union Address as guests of House Speaker John A. Boehner.
Aides to Boehner (R-Ohio) released the guest list Tuesday morning, and the group embodies issues of concern for the speaker and House Republicans -- economics, education reform and advancement for women. Three of the guests hail from the speaker's home state, giving his seats in the House Gallery a decidedly Buckeye State flavor.
Perhaps the most notable guest -- or the one most likely to yield an emotional reaction -- is Ted Kremer, who developed a loyal following in the Cincinnati area after he worked as a batboy for the Cincinnati Reds. Kremer, 30, has Down syndrome and was the subject of a must-read Cincinnati Enquirer profile.
Two of the guests, Laci Joseph and Zuri Franklin, are fourth-grade students at St. Anthony Catholic School in the District. They are beneficiaries of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship, a program that Boehner put his name and clout behind shortly after becoming speaker in hopes of giving poor students a chance to attend private schools and boost Washington's struggling Catholic schools.
Two women executives, American Red Cross President and CEO Gail McGovern and Jeanette Hernandez Prenger, the CEO of a Kansas City-based data management firm, also will attend as Boehner's guests.
Here are full biographies of Boehner's guests, as provided by his office:
- Mr. Ted Kremer, former batboy, Cincinnati Reds. Ted, 30, born with Down Syndrome, has been "the toast of the town" in the Speaker's hometown of Cincinnati since last September, when a remarkable work of journalism by Cincinnati Enquirer sports writer John Erardi and video journalist Jeff Swinger brought Ted’s inspiring story to light. Ted will be joined by his parents, David and Cheryl; his brother and sister-in-law, David and Erin Kremer; as well as Mr. Erardi and Mr. Swinger.
- Ms. Jeanette Hernandez Prenger, CEO, ECCO Select, Kansas City, MO. Jeanette, the chief executive officer of a Kansas City-based data management firm, received the Enterprising Women of the Year award for 2013 from Enterprising Women magazine. The award honors successful women business owners who mentor or actively support other women and girls involved in entrepreneurship and stand out as leaders in their communities.
- Miss Laci Joseph, Student, Washington, D.C. Laci, a fourth grade student at St. Anthony Catholic School in Northeast Washington, D.C., is an Opportunity Scholar in the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program. Laci's favorite subject is spelling, and she is active in the school choir. When she grows up, she would like to be a teacher or hair stylist. She will be accompanied by her father, Mr. Henry Joseph, III.
- Mr. Zuri Franklin, Student, Washington, D.C. Zuri, a fourth grade student at St. Anthony’s Catholic School in Northeast Washington, D.C., is an Opportunity Scholar in the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program. Zuri’s favorite part of school is attending Mass and working on fractions in Math class. He loves basketball and plans to be a policeman after he graduates college. He will be accompanied by his father, Mr. Robert Franklin.
- Mr. Arthur Mola, Principal, Sacred Heart School, Washington, D.C. Arthur Mola is the Principal at Sacred Heart School in Northwest, DC. Sacred Heart is the only bilingual elementary school in the Archdiocese of Washington. Mr. Mola holds a Masters degree in Education and teaching credentials in Social Sciences and English as a Second Language.
- Mr. Jason Barlow, President, UAW Local 402, Springfield, OH. Jason is employed by the Navistar truck company, which employs thousands of American workers in Ohio and Illinois, including many in Speaker Boehner's congressional district. Jason will be joined by his wife Rachele.
- Ms. Gail McGovern, President & CEO, American Red Cross. Ms. McGovern has served as president and CEO of the American Red Cross since 2008, and has overseen the organization’s response to many high-profile disasters, including Hurricane Sandy. Under her direction, the Red Cross eliminated its operating deficit in 2009 and is paying down its debt.