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American sister city visits Jeju schoolRincon Valley Middle School and Maria Carillo High School visit partner school
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승인 2014.03.07  13:00:31
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▲ Principal Marshall (center) is joined by Peter J. Suk (third from right) and Don Taylor (far left).

A group of students, teachers and community leaders from Santa Rosa, California, Jeju’s sister city, visited Nohyeong Middle School, Shin Jeju, on March 7. The visit was intended to deepen the cultural exchange between the cities, particularly in the education field.

The highlight of the visit was a samulnori performance by Nohyeong Middle School students followed by the Maria Carillo High School choir, who will also be performing at the Jeju Fire Festival on March 9.

Following the performance, Matthew Marshall, Principal of Rincon Valley Middle School, addressed the auditorium. Marshall has a strong commitment to the sister city relationship having arrived on Jeju back in 1999 as part of an earlier exchange. He stated he wanted to build a “cultural bridge” and increase exchanges between the two schools, urging the students to “come to California,” where he pledged to repay their hospitality.

After the performances, a meeting was held between Nohyeong Middle School officials and Don Taylor, President of the Santa Rosa Sister City Committee, Peter J. Suk, Vice-President, and Principal Marshall. Taylor, who was making his 12th visit to the island, was buoyant about the future of the school exchange.

“Now we’ve got a principal who first came over in 1999 ... he’s ready to make things happen and strengthen our sister city program,” he said.

All assembled shared the desire to deepen the partnership between the two schools and groups of students, whether through actual visits or email exchanges. The American contingent stressed their hope to send more students to Jeju in the future to visit Nohyeong Middle School.

The sister city relationship dates back to 1996 and has been strengthening in recent years. In 2002 two stone grandfather statues (“dol hareubang”) were sent to the US and in return Santa Rosa sent over a dance group to perform at that year's fire festival. The tradition has continued ever since and in 2012 a Snoopy statue was erected in Jeju City. Santa Rosa was Snoopy creator Charles Schultz’s home for 30 years. This year also saw the first ever overseas art exhibition covering the Jeju Massacre (4.3) open at Sonoma County Museum, Santa Rosa.

The Santa Rosa group have a full schedule including an international party at the Oriental Hotel on March 8 and the Jeju Fire Festival on March 9, before their return to California on March 10.

 

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