BCS Advantage Magazine Spring 2016 - Page 25

North Buncombe High Cultural Exchange By Jack Evans, 2016 BCS Principal of the Year W hat a blessing it was to be a part of the 2015 College Board Chinese Bridge Educational Delegation trip to China in November 2015. With sponsorship and coordination from Hanban, North America and the Center for International Understanding, I toured some of the beautiful cities and wonderful schools of Beijing and Chongqing. Experiencing the culture and hospitality of these two amazing cities, their inhabitants, and our gracious educational hosts was one of the highlights of my educational career. Our group was comprised of school administrators, central office administrators, and College Board representatives. We spent most of our time in the city of Chongqing with its population of approximately 33 million people. I was able to immerse myself in the Chinese culture and collaborate with their teachers and administrators. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the teachers and administrators were as hungry to learn from us, as we were to learn from them. The collaboration I experienced was exciting and rejuvenating. We had so much fun learning from each other. The best portion of this trip is the same as every day in schools - the STUDENTS! As I learned through NBHS’s Denmark Exchange program, no matter where they live, teenagers are teenagers. Through conversations I had with the students as we visited their schools, we discovered they are excited about learning and interested about other teenagers in other cultures. The students I met shared a love of life and vitality that inspires everyone around them! Jack Evans stands with American educators in front of Beijing’s Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters 24