Oak Park High School is one of two high schools in Southern California chosen to send students to a question-and-answer session Friday with House Speaker Newt Gingrich in Hollywood.
"I really don't know how we were selected," Principal Jeff Chancer said. "They just asked us if we wanted to participate and we jumped at the opportunity."
The 45-minute session will be edited to 10 minutes for broadcast next week by Channel One, a closed-circuit educational network shown in schools to 10 million students across the country.
Twenty-five Oak Park students, each armed with a question written on a 3-by-5-inch card, will ride a bus to the Hollywood studios of Channel One, where the session will be conducted.
The Oak Park students will be joined by students from an Orange County school and others from schools nationwide being brought in for the taping.
The Oak Park students will be selected from among a student body of 680 based on essays turned in Wednesday. The essays will be read and rated by history teachers.
The teachers will not know the essayists' identities until after the winners are selected, Chancer said.
Upon arrival at the studio, the questions will be turned over to a producer, who will decide which students will read their questions to Gingrich.