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WCS to sign MOU with Chinese school

by Rob Burgess - rburgess@wabashplaindealer.com

Wabash City Schools (WCS) Superintendent Jason Callahan, will be signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Zhejiang Huangyan Experimental Middle School from Taizhon, China, at 8:35 a.m. Monday, Aug. 12 at the Wabash Middle School auditorium, 150 Colerain St., according to a press release Friday.

The MOU will focus on promoting relationships between the two districts.

In a phone interview with the Plain Dealer on Friday, Sarah Delgadillo, director of global citizenship for WCS, said the reason for the collaboration was that Wabash and Linhai, China were sister cities, just like Fort Wayne was to Taizhou, China, and just like Indiana was a sister state to Zhejiang, China.

Delgadillo said both Wabash and Fort Wayne, and Linhai and Taizhou are one hour’s drive from each other.

“Wabash City Schools is proud to host students from Zhejiang Huangyan Experimental Middle School. This exchange fulfills our vision of building a legacy of opportunity for all of our students by sharing and better understanding cultural differences through new friendships. Our hope is that this exchange will be the first of many between Taizhou, China and Wabash, Indiana,” wrote Callahan in a statement to the Plain Dealer.

At Monday’s WCS board meeting, Callahan said Wabash Middle School Principal Mike Mattern would be hosting 17 Chinese students in all, plus two chaperons, one of which was the president of their school.

“We’re excited,” said Callahan. “We are going to an (Indianapolis) Indians game, and shopping in Indy.”

Mattern said they would take the visitors to a more agricultural setting than they might otherwise experience.

“We’re taking them to a farm,” he said. “They probably don’t see farm life there.”

Mattern said they were also taking the visitors to Manchester College in addition to other destinations.

“They are here for short amount of time,” he said. “They come in Sunday night here about 11 o’clock, and they leave Friday morning at 7 a.m.”