Laura Bush Visits Maranatha High in Pasadena; Advises Students to Look at Books Not Phones

By Jon Konjoyan

Former First Lady Laura Bush with Marantha staff. From l, John H. Davis, Board of Trustees President; Kris Dreyer, Chief Financial Officer; Dr. Michelle Purghart, Principal; Bush; Dr. David Gyertson, Headmaster Elect; Lisa Hausler, Gala Chair; and John Rouse, Dean of Admissions.

Former First Lady Laura Bush with Marantha staff. From l, John H. Davis, Board of Trustees President; Kris Dreyer, Chief Financial Officer; Dr. Michelle Purghart, Principal; Bush; Dr. David Gyertson, Headmaster Elect; Lisa Hausler, Gala Chair; and John Rouse, Dean of Admissions.

Former First Lady Laura Bush came to Pasadena last week and advised students at Maranatha High School to “Turn your face away from the (computer and phone) screen. Read a book,” she urged. “Or go for a walk and be outdoors.”

Laura Bush may be the former First Lady, but she’s still the “First Teacher.” A former public school teacher and librarian, she was Maranatha’s choice to speak at their 2013 Annual Gala themed “Celebrating our Teachers.”

Maranatha is a co-ed college preparatory Christian school.

About 750 students, teachers, parents, and supporters gathered at the Pasadena Convention Center to hear Bush, 66, and Grammy-winning Christian singer Michael W. Smith over a dinner of Chicken Florentine.

Bush, svelte-looking in a fitted turquoise green dress, spoke from prepared notes about her years in the White House. She announced that the George W. Bush Presidential Library will open on April 25 at her alma mater, Southern Methodist University in Dallas. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in education there.

“I love school which is why I am so happy to be here for Maranatha. You have a truly outstanding school,” she enthused. “Your education here is anchored in timeless values.”

As an advocate for childhood education and global literacy, reading is a guiding passion in her life. “Every child in America should learn how to read. Literacy is essential to a functioning democracy,” the former First Lady said.

For more information about Maranatha High School go to maranatha-hs.org or call (626) 817-4000.