June 1, 2013 | News & Updates

St. Mary’s School Announces Partnership with Wuhan No. 2 High School

St. Mary’s School Announces Partnership with Wuhan No. 2 High School

By Peter Gangemi, Director of KnowledgeLink

Last month, I traveled to China to partake in the announcement of a new Partnership School collaboration. The new program, set to open in fall 2013, will leverage the joint expertise of the St. Mary’s School of Medford, Oregon and Wuhan No. 2 High School of Wuhan, China.

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St. Mary’s School, having already established a similar partnership with Shanghai Jinhua Middle School, sought to expand its international student body to include students from mainland China. In Wuhan No. 2 High School, St. Mary’s found an ideal partner with a reputation for producing top-tier students. Established in 1939, Wuhan No. 2 is one of Hubei’s key provincial high schools due to its rich curriculum and robust history of preparing alumni for matriculation at elite, highly competitive Chinese colleges.

Given St. Mary’s School’s extensive experience teaching international students and Wuhan No. 2 High School’s expertise in implementing innovative teaching methods, the partnership will allow Wuhan to offer a first class American education to its students while providing St. Mary’s the global recognition it deserves. St. Mary’s Headmaster, Frank Phillips, is enthusiastic about the program’s potential, noting the symbiotic relationship the two schools have cultivated. “St. Mary’s School’s work with Wuhan No. 2 promises to be rewarding for all parties. Wuhan No. 2, like St. Mary’s, values academic rigor,” Mr. Phillips noted. “To have two high quality schools working closely together to foster that relationship and to produce students, teachers, parents, and administrators who understand both cultures and can move comfortably between and within them is a great strength,” he expounded.

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Having gotten to know the two heads of school and seeing their passion and commitment first-hand, I was confident that the announcement, which would be followed by a brief question and answer session, would leave a lasting impression on the audience. What was unexpected, however, was the parents’ articulate response to the presentation and remarkably in-depth understanding of American pedagogy. Parents had prepared well-researched questions about the difference between American values on education and Chinese ones.

After the parents had finished asking questions, Headmaster Phillips spoke with students seated in the audience. Students answered typical admissions questions like “Why do you want to study in America”, as well as more abstract questions such as “What will you do to make the world better with your education?” The students, standing in front of the large crowd, were unfazed by the questions and answered them confidently for everyone to hear. “I want to become a professor,” one of the students proclaimed. One student eloquently requested a juxtaposition between American and Chinese culture and how, if at all, a high school program could transcend the innate cultural boundaries within educational learning styles.

After the information session, news of the partnership spread quickly among Chinese media. Dozens of media outlets published articles about the program, including admissions information and the target number of students for the fall 2013 semester. Expectations for the program are high, according to Mr. Phillips. “We look forward to seeing what some of the best students in Central China can do with good American teachers and tackling strong American college preparatory courses,” said Phillips. “We also hope to see the interactions between the two campuses grow every year.”

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We at KnowledgeLink share our partners’ passions for innovative educational initiatives being established in China. By facilitating strong relationships between appropriately matched schools, our programs possess a stable foundation from which to flourish. As your international student program consultants, our team would be delighted to evaluate your program and determine whether a partnership program is a prudent investment for your school.