On Monday, Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua hosted 32 students, along with 12 administrators and teachers, from Beijing 101 High School.
“As educators, we know reading, mathematics, and science are essential to a good education,” Chappaqua 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.”
Horace Greeley High School Principal Robert Rhodes provided a history of the school and spoke to Greeley’s graduation requirements and the college selection process. The school’s Student Council President Tim Bloom introduced the school’s Madrigal Choir, which performed three songs. Two students from Beijing 101 followed with a rendition of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from “The Lion King.”
After administrators, teachers and students exchanged gifts, the Beijing 101 students and teachers were given a tour of the building and attended classes before collaborating with their American counterparts on a digital photography project.
Greeley junior Vinny Hriskonich said he enrolled in the school’s Chinese 1 class after receiving advice from his brother, who works in the business sector on Wall Street.
“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,” Hriskonich said.
Before boarding a bus for their next destination, Yu Lu, an 11th-grader at Beijing 101 said she enjoyed the choir and seeing the classrooms and the layout of the school
“I also see that students have a lot more academic freedom in terms of choosing classes and perusing personal interests,” she said.