SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — First Lady Dr. Jill Biden said it felt great to be back at middle school Wednesday.

The educator stopped at Glendale Middle School during her short trip in Salt Lake City, part of a three-day day tour to praise the work of the teachers and students.

Before she addressed the teachers, she talked to two groups of students at Glendale Middle School.

One of the groups of students played the ukulele for the first lady, while the other presented a project to her.

Also, the students gave the First Lady a lei as it is a tradition in the classroom to give to a special visitor.

Biden said she is grateful Utah’s educators stepped up in a big way during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We hear so often that our country is so helpless and divided, but empathy and understanding, those are the values that show up in Utah that seek to spread are bigger than politics,” said Biden. 

When Biden addressed the crowd, she told them the best gift for educators is giving them the tools to succeed. 

She said she and her husband, President Joe Biden, want to do that. 

She added she is thankful for the resiliencey of teachers all around the country.

“It’s been hard hasn’t it,” said Biden. “There is no denying that, and there have been loses that we’ll never get back, lost time with each other, lost learning, and the loss of so many who we love”

Before Biden spoke, 8th-grade student Rosa Sanchez, Utah Teacher of the Year John Arthur, and Utah First Lady Abby Cox all took the podium to talk about their triumphs and tribulations during such a challenging year. 

Biden ended her speech with a message of thanks. 

“Thank you for all that you have done for the students of Glendale,” said Biden. “Thank you for your optimism, thank you for illuminating our world. We appreciate you and we will work to show you that with our actions every single day.”