KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Knoxville educator will attend President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on Tuesday as a guest of First Lady Jill Biden.
The White House announced that Maurice “Dion” Dykes will join First Lady Biden and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff in her viewing box at the State of the Union on Tuesday.
Dykes met the First Lady when she visited Sarah Moore Greene Magnet Academy in Knoxville in September, where he works as an educational assistant.
After working as a graphic designer for 25 years, Dykes is training to become a teacher through Tennessee’s Registered Apprenticeship program. The program, which is funded by the 2020 American Rescue Plan, is part of the state’s “Grow Your Own” efforts to establish no-cost pathways into the teaching profession.
First Lady Jill Biden and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona held a roundtable discussion with Dykes and other educators about the Grow Your Own initiative.
Dykes graduated from the University of Tennessee with a fine arts degree in 1985. He is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.
Roughly two dozen special guests, including Ambassador of Ukraine Oksana Markarova and U2 lead singer Bono, will attend Tuesday’s State of the Union at the invitation of the White House. The speech will start at 9 p.m. EST.