Biden introduces pick to lead Education Department

Cardona, currently the education commissioner for the state of Connecticut and a former teacher, would be another Latino addition to Biden's top team, after advocacy groups urged the former vice president to appoint Hispanic Americans to senior roles.

Video Transcript

JOE BIDEN: Dr. Cardona rose up the ranks to become an assistant superintendent in the same school district he attended as an English learner student. The same district where he was born in public housing. The son and grandson of parents and grandparents who moved from Puerto Rico in search of new opportunities.

MIGUEL CARDONA: It's our privilege to take this moment and to do the most American thing imaginable. To forge opportunity out of crisis. To draw on our resolve, our ingenuity, and our tireless optimism as a people. And build something better than we've ever had before.

That's the choice Americans make every day. It's a choice that defines us as Americans. It's the choice my grandparents made. [? Avelino ?] and Maria [? de la Paz ?] Cardona and [? Hermana ?] [? Muniz ?] [? Rosa ?] when they made their way from Aguada, Puerto Rico for new opportunities in Connecticut.

I'm proud to say I was born at the Yale Acres housing projects. That's where my parents Hector and [? Sara ?] Cardona instilled early on the importance of hard work, service to community, and education. I was blessed to attend the public schools in my hometown of Meriden, Connecticut, where I was able to expand my horizons and become the first of my family to graduate college and become a teacher, a principal, an assistant superintendent in the same community that gave me so much.

That-- that is the power of America. And I, being bilingual and bicultural, am as American as apple pie and rice and beans.