National recognition: BV high school receives EF Global Education Excellence Award
By Kelby Newcomb
Berryville High School is preparing its students for the world in more ways than one.
The high school has received national recognition for excellence in global education from EF High School Exchange Year, the leader in high school exchange programs.
According to a press release from the organization, the EF High School Exchange Year Global Education Excellence Award is presented annually to high schools that demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to international understanding and global awareness. Berryville High School was one of a select group of high schools and districts recognized across the United States for the 2018-19 school year.
“Berryville High School has shown an outstanding commitment to offering a global education,” said Bob Fredette, president of EF High School Exchange Year. “By welcoming exchange students into the classrooms, Berryville High School has created new and unique learning opportunities for not just the exchange students, but for the American students and faculty as well.”
Superintendent Owen Powell said it is an honor to receive the award.
“It’s very humbling,” he said. “We really enjoy having foreign exchange students come into our school. It’s an honor to receive the award.”
This year Berryville welcomed Jolie Chiang, an EF High School Exchange Year student from Taiwan. Jolie said she was accepted into the school and became an integral part of the school’s academic and extracurricular life, saying she was involved the greater community in the exchange experience.
“My experience at Berryville has been amazing,” said Chiang. “I was able to participate in basketball, prom and trap shooting, which is something I would not have experienced back home. One of the things I appreciate most about my experience at Berryville High School is being able to try so many new things and meet so many new people. I will never forget my time in Berryville, and I know I will always be welcome here.”
Teale Bouly, assistant to the regional coordinator, said the program was started after World War II to improve relations between the United States and the rest of the world
“Since then, it has done amazingly well with us being able to learn about our exchange students’ cultures,” she said, “and them being able to learn about ours. Jolie has been our student this year. Berryville has hosted three other exchange students from us in years past.”
Bouly continued, “It’s helped Berryville students learn about other cultures. They got to celebrate Chinese New Year while Jolie was here and learn about their traditions there. It gave them a new view of the world and a broader view because they’ve been able to get these perspectives from different distinct cultures.”
Local exchange coordinators Merica Howie and Lori Johnson thanked Berryville High School for welcoming this year’s students from around the globe. The community and visiting students shared an unforgettable experience thanks to the generosity of the Berryville School District administration, teachers, students and families, they said.