CHS one of 76 schools recognized nationwide
By Bert Lehman
Clintonville High School has been selected as a 2016 Top Global Learning School by AFS-USA and the National Honor Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS).
AFS-USA is a leader in intercultural learning and student exchange. NSHSS is an international honor society dedicated to highlighting the accomplishments of high-achieving students.
Clintonville High School is one of 76 schools nationwide to be selected for the award. Selection was based on schools incorporating global learning into their curriculum. This includes hosting international exchange students and encouraging their own students to study abroad.
It also includes participating in public diplomacy initiatives and bringing global issues into their classrooms for discussion.
There are seven AFS foreign exchange students attending Clintonville High School this school year. Students include Mohammad Ayub Solaiman (Philippines), Yuki Shimizu (Japan), Michela Dreossi (Italy), Imma Betriu (Spain), Momo Honda (Japan), Anne Pham Nguyen (Denmark) and Laili Saffie (Malaysia).
Clintonville High School also has other foreign exchange students from other programs attending its school.
Lance Bagstad, principal at Clintonville High School, told the Clintonville Tribune-Gazette that it is an honor for the school to be recognized for its commitment to bringing foreign exchange students to the high school, as well as the Clintonville community.
He said he decided a few of years ago that the school was going to accept as many foreign exchange students as possible.
“I think it’s a fantastic opportunity for not only those students, but as much of an opportunity for our students to learn more about other cultures and other parts of the world,” Bagstad said. “In many cases they may not be able to travel to any of these places so this is an opportunity for them to experience how other countries live, their culture, their food, and their educational system.”
Clintonville students also accept foreign exchange students positively, Bagstad said.
“The foreign exchange students fit right in with our student body,” he said. “They become real good friends with a lot of our students right from the get go. I think our students have really enjoyed the opportunity to learn from our foreign exchange students.”
Bagstad also acknowledged the commitment from area host families who allow foreign exchange students to live with them.
“I think it says a lot about our community and the willingness to say, ‘We’re in favor of bringing these foreign exchange students to our community, to our school district,’” Bagstad said.
In addition to thanking the CHS student body and area host families, Bagstad said the Clintonville School Board has been supportive in allowing the high school to have as many foreign exchange students as it does.
“I think it’s a testament to what our community believes about the importance of giving these opportunities to kids coming here to study from a foreign country and then an opportunity to our kids to learn about their culture,” Bagstad said.
Being named a Top Global Learning School also includes the opportunity for Clintonville High School students to apply for a $1,000 scholarship for any 2016 AFS study abroad program. To enter the competition, students must answer the question, “What does it mean to be a global citizen?” The deadline for submissions is April 1. More information can be found at www.afsusa.org.