Though some students at the Durham Performance Learning Center figured it out in advance, most were still surprised when Bill and Melinda Gates stopped by their school Thursday morning.
Through their eponymous charitable foundation, Microsoft mogul Bill Gates and his wife Melinda awarded start-up money for the Performance Learning Center three years ago.
The school offers alternative hours and self-paced, computer-based coursework for older high-schoolers who need a non-traditional setting.
Mr. and Mrs. Gates stopped in as part of a quick tour of several schools in the state, arriving at the Northgate Mall on West Club Boulevard just before 9 a.m. And yes, they walked through the main entrance, just like everyone else.
During their tour of the small school, housed in the basement of Northgate, the couple spent 45 minutes talking with a small group of lucky students.
"They said very positive things," said Principal Danny Gilfort. "It was impressive to see someone of their stature next to the kids and talking about what they do here."