President Bush Visits Delisle Elementary

President Bush visited Pass Christian Tuesday, bringing a message of hope and encouragement to the teachers and children at Delisle Elementary School.

That school is the only one left standing in the Pass. It will soon be home to four different schools in the Pass Christian School District.

Students at Delisle Elementary are off to an exciting week. Monday's back to school celebration was topped by Tuesday's visit from the President and First Lady. A smiling George and Laura Bush greeted second graders in the school's courtyard.

"Well, it's been a great honor meeting the President," said seven year old Travis Harkins.

This marks the President's eighth trip to the area since Katrina hit. With a kindergarten class as his stage, President Bush praised everyone in the Pass Christian school district for meeting the challenge of returning to the classroom.

"I want to thank the principals and teachers for understanding that the quality of education in a community helps define the nature of that community," the President said.

Dr. Sue Matheson is superintendent of the Pass Christian School District.

"He was so warm and personable. And really took the time to speak to the children, the teachers. And we just appreciate him," she said.

Principal Meredith Bang proudly showed her pictures of the President and First Lady. She was part of a group that presented a video to the President, showing before and after hurricane images.

"It was all based on hope, not despair. Not the struggle, but what we have to accomplish. He seemed very understanding. Compassionate. And eager to help in any way that he could," she said.