Jake Meyer, 17, waits his turn to shake the hand of Missouri Governor Jay Nixon.
Meyer is Mound City High School's student council president.
The student council was granted a private meeting with the governor Tuesday morning.
"It's mind blowing. It really is. I never thought I'd have this kind of opportunity."
Gov. Nixon's visit comes with a speech to the entire student body.
Meyer stands quietly behind the governor as he tells everyone that school is more difficult now than ever; Meyer says he couldn't agree more.
"My parents are talking about how math for me in third grade is what they were doing back in third grade," he said. "I'm helping the first graders do math, and they're doing stuff that I had when I was in third grade."
Governor Nixon praises both students and teachers at Mound City - both for high attendance numbers and a high graduation rate.
He says the school is now an "A Plus" school, which opens up more opportunities for scholarships that will send students to college.
Nixon touches on the importance of sending more students to college:
"The number of degrees awarded by US colleges and universities more than doubled between 1940 and 1950. In the next half century the percentage of Americans with a college degree quintupled."
The other point Governor Nixon makes is explaining that in the modern classroom, education is less and less about competing with your own classmates, r even with other students in the state.
The governor's point is that education now covers a global spectrum.
"It's important to remember that in achieving these goals, you are carrying on a tradition that we've had as a nation since our birth," Nixon said. "But more importantly a tradition that will last through our future."
That message resounded with Meyer, who hopes to go to Northwestern University to study electrical engineering.
"With other countries constantly modernizing and industrializing and they're going to keep competing with us. The only way we're going to stay on top is to keep teaching our students," Meyer said.