CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – Thirty-two students, along with 12 administrators and teachers from Beijing 101 High School visited Horace Greeley High School on Monday, with a mission to exchange thoughts, ideas and appreciation between two different learning cultures.
“As educators, we know reading, mathematics, and science are essential to a good education,” Chappaqua Schools Superintendent Lyn McKay said in her welcoming remarks.
“But as 21st century educators living in an interconnected world, we also know how important it is to promote the importance of global understanding by providing opportunities for students to interact with people from all over the world.”
The visit was a nice change of pace for all involved, as Chappaqua School Board President Victoria Tipp had noted students asking for more opportunities combining academic rigor within the classroom and opportunities that connect classroom learning to the outside world.
Monday certainly accomplished that, reaching as far as thousands of miles outside the limits of a Chappaqua classroom.
Greeley junior Vinny Hriskonich, who is enrolled in the school’s Chinese 1 class, was especially excited to learn more about the Chinese culture and hear the different perspectives of international peers. His older brother, who works on Wall Street, suggested such information could be invaluable.
“My brother told me being able to speak Chinese and having a better understanding of Chinese customs and traditions would give me a tremendous advantage in the workforce,” he said.
The day began with the Beijing visitors receiving a history of Horace Greeley High School from Principal Robert Rhodes, who also discussed Greeley’s graduation requirements and the college process. Greeley’s Student Council President Tim Bloom then introduced the school’s Madrigal Choir before it performed three songs.
Beijing 101 returned the gesture when two of its students gave a rendition of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from “The Lion King.”
Before boarding the bus for their next destination, Mamaroneck High School, Yu Lu, an 11th-grader at Beijing 101 said she was impressed with Greeley’s choir and the design of the school, in addition to its classrooms.
“I also see that students have a lot more academic freedom in terms of choosing classes and pursuing personal interests,” she said.