DeKALB – As U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Channahon, entered the various classrooms, studios and gyms of DeKalb High School on Monday, he was amazed.
Kinzinger and DeKalb School District 428 Superintendent Jim Briscoe weaved in and out of hallways and classrooms, stopping to observe some of the school’s biggest assets, such as the auditorium and multiple gyms. While touring the 400,000-sqaure-foot school, Kinzinger frequently used one word: “Wow.”
“[This tour] reinforces to me the importance of education and what we have to do in Washington from our limited role in education,” Kinzinger said. “We can help in a funding role, especially in areas that are underserved or underfunded to give kids all around the country an opportunity to experience something like this.”
Kinzinger represents Illinois’ 16th Congressional District, which was recently redrawn to include DeKalb and much of DeKalb County. Kinzinger requested the tour to get to know the areas in his district and understand some of the important issues. One of these issues, he said, is education.
A strong advocate of regular exercise and physical activity by children and teens, Kinzinger was especially pleased with the various athletic facilities and fitness resources available to students.
“This is one of the nicest facilities I’ve seen,” he said as he walked into the school’s fieldhouse.
Briscoe also gushed about the district’s newest addition, which opened in August 2011. The building was built with part of the proceeds from a $110 million building bond issue approved by voters in 2008.
“We’re the best-hidden secret in the western suburbs,” Briscoe told Kinzinger during the tour.
Kinzinger seemed to agree.
“I would say this is one of the most state-of-the-art high schools obviously in the state, probably in the country,” he said.
Kinzinger made a point to stop and talk with several students throughout the tour, discussing topics ranging from aviation to journalism.
“Interacting with the kids was great,” he said afterward. “I loved that and every aspect of it.”
After the congressman finished the tour, he commented that one of the greatest aspects of the school was the atmosphere.
“When you walk in here it gives you a feeling of wanting to learn,” he said. “And that makes a big difference.”