WMS, Chinese school form partnership

By Mandy Underwood

On Monday, Aug. 12, Wabash Middle school students and exchange students from Zhejiang Huangyan Experimental Middle School, Taizhon, China, joined in the middle school auditorium to witness the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) by Wabash City Schools superintendent Jason Callahan and Zhejiang Huangyan Experimental Middle School President Xunbin Chen.

The MOU was created to establish a long-lasting relationship between the two schools and their communities.

The presentation started with Wabash Middle School Principal Mike Mattern. Explaining how this exchange came to be.

“About five years ago, a delegation from Wabash went to China, and the idea of that visit was to create a business connection, between Wabash, Indiana and China, and also to create a school connection, so what we are experiencing today is the first part of that school connection. And it’s kind of interesting because Huangyan Middle School is about an hour from Taizhou, which is the sister city of Ft. Wayne, which is just about an hour from us, so there is that long distance connection.”

Mattern then welcomed Callahan to the stand from his seat on stage next to President Chen.

Callahan highlighted the key goals of the MOU: to promote international relationship and cooperation to serve school, teachers, students and their communities; to encourage and facilitate the long distant communication between students and teachers of both sides by means of pen-pal, internet and other distance-learning and e-learning technical facilities; to strengthen exchange, enhance understanding and friendship, as well as respect cultural difference, and to encourage and facilitate the exchange and business of students and teachers. 

Finally, Chen was welcomed to the stage to address the students and staff.

“Dear superintendent, students and teachers of Wabash City School, thanks for your warm invitation. We can enjoy the beautiful scenery, appreciate the customs and perceive the great historical literature achievements through this trip. With the joint efforts of us, the cooperation and exchange between Huangyan Experimental Middle School and the Wabash City School has been launched. I think it will be a good start to enrich our academic content, and we are and we are confident to continue in depth cooperation and exchange between two sides. This trip, I would like to give my students some requests and hopes. First, to be a learner. Second, to be a good guest. Students need to know how to be a guest. Third, to be a communicator, students need to take back and carry forward what you have gained from this trip. Finally, I would like to express thanks to Wabash City School and Homestay Parents. On behalf of the school, I invite the teachers and students to our school in October.”

Callahan and Chen then signed the MOU, officially beginning the newfound friendship between the two schools.

“Today truly marks a historic event in our two schools, Zhejiang Huangyan Experimental Middle School and Wabash Middle School,” said Callahan.

“Relationships are a core principal of Wabash City Schools, our hope is to build a strong relationship, where we can provide students from both schools a better understanding of each other’s culture and at the end of the day, realize that we are more alike than different.”

Posted on 2019 Aug 13