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Global Education

Global Education has been a cornerstone of my teaching practice and relates to every subject I teach. As our students are our future leaders, I strive to find creative ways to open the world to them.  This begins with a respectful and open-mindedness. This valuable pursuit has the added benefit of helping us to appreciate and understand our culture as we view ourselves in a different light. By modeling and involving students in Citizen Diplomacy projects, I hope to allow them to gain respect for other cultures as they build relationships with their peers around the globe.   

Bringing the World Together through the Arts.

 Airing on WUFT

Below are some highlights of Global Education and Outreach Initiatives:

Art Exchange: Japan

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In 2021 we are proud to announce the formation of a brand new global art exchange relationship with Kawara High school in Kawakara, Japan, lead by English teacher Yoshitaka Hamada  We were excited to receive a chain made of 1000 origami cranes, and essays about Anne Frank that they were kind enough to share. We shipped silk scrolls to our friends in Japan, painted with well-wishing messages. In this time of Covid, it is important that we continue to look out at the world and find productive and enriching relationships. We look forward to the growth of our relationship into 2022.

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Nov. 4, 2021:  Arts Conservatory students met Martin McKeller who explained the meaning and techniques of maintaining a Japanese rock garden and discussed the "Gardens for Peace" initiative and it's symbolism. The students then raked symbols into the garden at the Harn Museum as a message of peace to our friends in Kawara Japan. 

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Proud to be part of TCAB 2021-22

I am honored to be 1 of 18 teachers selected from the United States to participate in the 2021-22,

Teachers Collaborating Across Borders program. 

This program is organized by the University of Arizona's Center for Middle Eastern Studies in cooperation with Duke University and the University of North Carolina's Mid Consortium for Middle East and Islamic Studies! I also look forward to making many new friends and finding ways to be productive with my colleagues from around the globe.

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Sister Schools: Changzhou, China


Since 2007, our school has enjoyed a very close, and unusually productive relationship with Changzhou #2 School in China.  I was happy to help Headmaster Richard Gehman found this relationship and excited to help negotiate homestays for our students during biannual visits to each other's schools. Unfortunately, Covid has interfered with our program, but we remain, fast friends, today. 

While our relationship has enriched the lives of countless student and faculty members, an unexpected accomplishment came about as a result of our relationship. In short, I accidentally found a Qing Dynasty scroll that depicted Changzhou and reintroduced the image to our friends.  This made national news in China and a new History museum was constructed that prominently features the scroll's image. Watch the video to hear more about this story. 

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Sister Cities: Jacmel, Haiti

Our city of Gainesville enjoys nine different official Sister City relationships and I have tried to maintain active involvement in many of them including with Jacmel, Haiti.  We have developed a strong relationship with the Fosaj Art school of Jacmel and, before Covid, enjoyed annual visits by their delegation where we would celebrate by making art and music together. The Haitians bring music, dancing, painting, and a beautiful spirit to share when they come to visit! We look forward to sharing ours with them again.  More information about

Gainesville's Sister City programs can be found here.

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We love making art and music with our friends from Jacmel!

Sister Cities: Israel / Palestine

Gainesville has maintained a unique 3-way Sister City relationship between Kfar Saba, Israel, Qalqilya, Palestine, and  Gainesville, Florida since 1998 and our school has been intimately involved with this important Sister City relationship for many years.

I had the opportunity to serve on a delegation from my city and we hosted delegations from theirs. We use art and music to celebrate each other and our friendship. A documentary film is in the works about our project. Please watch these videos to understand the richness and complexity of our long-standing relationship. 

More information can be found at

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People to People: Actively Building Constituants for Peace
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Build a Deaf Students Help Raise Awareness for the Deaf in Palestine

When we discovered there was no high school education for the Deaf, (population 43,000 in the West Bank), our students decided to help. They created and raised nearly $8,000. This helped bring attention to the dilemma in Qalqilya and eventually all the money was raised to fund the construction of the school finally built in 2022!


We are very excited to see the "Big Heart Secondary school" complete and happy that Deaf students in the West Bank can finally get the education they deserve.  

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To celebrate the opening of the new school a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Dec 11, 2022.  Our friends have worked so hard to see this day and we could not be more excited for the students and teachers who. will call "Big Heart" School for the Deaf home.  Congratulations to everyone in Qalqilya! We are very proud of you. 

IREX Program:
Central Asia

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Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan & Kyrgyzstan- 2002-2011

For many years I involved my students with the US State Department-sponsored IREX program for a series of online art exchanges.  These projects proved enriching and productive.

Download .Pdf for more about this exciting project.

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Sister Schools:
Andros Island, The Bahamas

Founded by my colleague Gary Bone, our Sister School relationship with Central Andros High School endured from 2004 thru 2011.

What started with a mural painted at a school with structural challenges, our communities came together in a mutually beneficial relationship. Our school helped build a computer lab and basketball court, their woodcarvers, musicians, basketweavers, and a scholar in Bahamian folk tales and tradition visited and shared at our school.   

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One of our students was moved to collect running shoes for her peers

on Andros when she saw them racing on the track with no shoes. 


She started the non-profit,, to help and the charity that still exists to this day.

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Citizen Diplomacy: Art is the Universal Language


When the day arrived where our school had two simultaneous visits from international delegations on the same day (one from China and one from Haiti), I knew we were doing something right. 


Global Education opens the eyes of all involved and makes us see how we really all are very much the same. 


Keynote Speaker, Sister Cities International Conference, 2013

In this video, I explain my reasons for pursuing Global Education while I paint Blues legend Willie Green live on PBS TV.

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