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Schooling TFA on Identifying Members of Congress

Teach for America — the nonprofit that places bright-eyed and bushy-tailed college grads into low-income, under-performing school districts for two-year teaching stints — is hosting a gala this week to raise money to expand their presence in D.C.-area schools.

The gala will be held at the upscale Omni Shoreham Hotel in the District and boasts an impressive list of attendees, including Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., biographer Walter Isaacson, D.C. Public Schools Superintendent Kaya Henderson and a performance from the Washington Youth Choir.

But in press releases sent out this week, the keynote speaker was curiously listed as U.S. Sen. Mike Johnson from Colorado.

Didn’t sound familiar. Who could this mystery senator be?

Did it mean Michael Bennet, the Democratic Senator from the Colorado who used to run Denver’s school system? Or maybe Mike Johanns, the Republican from Nebraska whose name is sort of similar, albeit from a different state?

HOH gave TFA a call to get the scoop, and before we even got our question out, the spokeswoman immediately knew what we were going to ask and corrected the release’s mistake.

The speaker is in fact Mike Johnston (note the additional “t”), and he is not a U.S. senator (as you could tell) but is in fact a member of Colorado’s state Senate.

Our sharp eyes also helped TFA correct its mistake of listing John Delaney as a representative from Virginia (the first-term member represents neighboring Maryland).

Snark aside, the event has raised more than $1 million thus far to support TFA’s expansion in the high-need D.C. area school systems. The gala begins Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Woodley Park.

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