High school hosts visitors from China

Two students hold a piece of paper with Chinese calligraphy and phonetic spelling of the name "Olivia"

A former Herkimer teacher returned to the district this week, bringing with her a group of students from halfway around the world.

Lee Slopka brought 19 students from Shendong Province, China, to Herkimer Jr./Sr. High School as part of a winter field trip to introduce Chinese students to the American education system and American culture.

The students from Bright Visions Education Group visited Cornell University, Corning Glass, the state Capital building, SUNY Polytechnic, Colgate University, CVA and New York City during their trip.

While at Herkimer Jr./Sr. High School, the Chinese students attended morning classes with ninth-graders, had a cafeteria lunch with students from the Language Club, and attended an afternoon class with club members.

Two students hold up paper with calligraphy on it

Mr. Rosenburgh, Miss Shepardson, Mr. Watkins and Miss Hernandez all changed their lessons for the morning to integrate Chinese culture. In ninth-grade Studio Art class, students worked together to create calligraphy pieces of each student’s name.

Organizer Lee Slopka thanked the district for hosting the students, who also visited Central Valley during their time in the area.

“Your faculty was very welcoming, and your students were so friendly, that the visitors felt like they made new American friends,” Slopka said, adding, “I’m sure it was an experience the Chinese visitors will never forget.”