Educators from the city of Maoming, in the Guangdong Province of China, visited the Everett Public Schools (EPS) last week as part of a mutually beneficial exchange showcasing the multiple facets of the district’s students, curriculum, and programs.
The delegation toured the Webster School and the Webster School Extension on Tuesday, and Everett High School (EHS) on Wednesday as part of a productive two-day visit to the city. This mark the second consecutive year that educators from Maoming visited Everett during an extensive professional development journey to the United States.
“It’s an honor to meet leaders from other parts of the globe,” said Mayor Carlo DeMaria. “These kinds of interactions are always valuable for the hosts as well as the guests, and I commend the School Department for organizing this successful exchange.”
The mayor was especially proud to showcase the new, state-certified Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs that are now being offered to EHS students, including building construction and machine technology. “Creating the space, and securing the funding, for the CTE curriculum at the high school required tremendous effort from a lot of people,” the mayor said. “The programs and technology now available to our students are something we should all be proud of.”
At the Webster Extension, the delegation learned about Everett’s free pre-school program and other early education and special education initiatives. Head Teacher Michelle Bosco led a tour of classrooms for 3- and 4-year-olds, as well as space dedicated to occupational therapy, speech therapy, and guidance counseling.
Principal Denise Hanlon led the visit to the Webster School. She talked about how “kindness” is the school’s guiding principle, and she answered a wide range of questions from the enthusiastic visitors. During the tour of classrooms, the teachers from China expressed special interest in Project Read, a language arts program that accommodates a diverse array of learning profiles, and Classdojo, a comprehensive web application that allows teachers to easily communicate with parents and families.
On Wednesday, Everett High Principal Erick Naumann hosted the educators for a full morning of activities. First, they gathered in the Crimson Café, where they were treated to a breakfast prepared by the Culinary Arts Department. Mr. Naumann talked about the demographics of EHS, CTE programming, and the school’s new Academy and Pathway model. Afterwards, the educators received a tour of the high school, and had the chance to interact with students and teachers during a typical day at EHS.
Everyone had ample opportunity to ask questions and exchange thoughts, as the flow of information was expertly translated and interpreted by Jany Murphy.
The visitors showed their gratitude by presenting EPS administrators with a variety of beautiful and original gifts from China.
“I was very impressed with their energy, their interest in our schools and students, and their insights,” said Interim Superintendent Janice Gauthier.
The delegation was also in New York and Connecticut, where they visited secondary schools, as well as Columbia and Yale universities. In Greater Boston, they visited Harvard and MIT. “Obviously, Greater Boston has no shortage of great educational institutions, so it’s quite an honor that our colleagues from Maoming once again included Everett on their itinerary,” said Mr. Naumann.
The EPS would like to extend special thanks to retired Everett teacher Bob Constantine, who helped coordinate the visit to Everett in 2018 and again last week.