W.Va. Teachers to Participate in International Programs

June 14, 2010

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Teachers from Nicholas and Kanawha counties will be traveling overseas this summer in programs designed to enhance international education in the classroom.
Mary Jane Williams, a Spanish teacher and school technology specialist from Richwood High School in Nicholas County has been selected for a Costa Rica study tour through the Toyota International Teacher Program. Williams is one of 26 U.S. educators chosen to participate in the event slated for June 18 through July 3.
Teachers will collaborate with fellow program participants and Costa Rican educators to develop curriculum projects that foster an understanding about environmental and global issues. While in Costa Rica, a country dedicated to protecting its natural resources, Williams will exchange ideas with area experts about sustainable development, agronomy, ecotourism and other conservation practices. Additionally, the group will research methods in sustainable agriculture at EARTH University.
In addition, Kanawha County educators Debra O’Dell, a social studies teacher at Herbert Hoover High School, and Debbie Edmonds, a teacher at J.E. Robins Elementary School, have been selected to participate in the Transatlantic Outreach Program (TOP). TOP seeks to find the best and most qualified K-12 social studies educators in the United States and Canada and give them the opportunity to experience modern Germany in person.
Edmonds and O’Dell will be among 100 social studies educators selected to travel to Germany between June 11 and August 7 on a two-week, all-expenses-paid study tour. From Frankfurt to Berlin and from Schwerin to Nürnberg, they will sample each corner of Germany through sight, sound, touch, and taste.  
In an era when global understanding is more important than ever, the Transatlantic Outreach Program (TOP) was founded in 2002 to internationalize social studies education and to foster cross-cultural dialogue. The Transatlantic Outreach Program is a unique public/private partnership between the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Goethe-Institut, the Deutsche Bank, and the Robert Bosch Stiftung.
Andrew Wendt, a social studies teacher at Nitro High School in Kanawha County, also has been named a recipient of the James Madison Fellowship for West Virginia. The program aims to strengthen teaching in the nation's secondary schools about the framing and subsequent history of the Constitution.  
For more information, contact the Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.

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