Global Education

Stembridge to continue Salzer’s global programs

By Justin Quinn and Annie Orenstein
Published: December 2009

With the recent creation of new international trips from Newton South students and the administration, many are beginning to wonder if Principal Stembridge will continue Salzer’s legacy of support for global learning.

The simple answer is yes. “The more we can do, the better, Stembridge said in an interview on December 9. This year alone, three new international programs have been instated by the administration, including two to India and another to Costa Rica and Panama. Stembridge is in full support of all of the new and old programs, stating their importance to enrich students’ global perspective. Stembridge believes that each and every trip is an opportunity for students to step outside of their comfort zones and have an experience they wouldn’t otherwise take part in.

However, even though Stembridge is for full support of these programs, he believes that students’ concern in making up work plays a large role in their decision to take time off and travel during the school year. “South is very academically oriented, Stembridge said. “It scares students to think that the work pileup could become too much for them to handle. Students who have partaken in these programs, however, have stressed the flexibility of their teachers to make the workload more manageable.

Additionally, he wanted to make sure teachers traveling with students would be comfortable missing school. Stembridge said since this is his first year as principal of Newton South, his role right now is to support current trips and provide guidance for teachers and students proposing new ones.

Although he does not have any new program ideas yet, Stembridge did suggest making the trips and transition smoother. He suggested that all school trips take place during one month of the school year so that any issues due to students and teachers traveling would be contained in one shorter period of time.

Stembridge, like a few South students, did live abroad for a small period of time during high school. Having gone to Germany for three weeks during his junior year, he gained confidence and bravery. Stembridge’s time in Germany made a lasting impact on him. “This experience led me to the decision to travel far from home for college, Stembridge said. Stembridge hopes that South students participating in programs will have a similar experience to his.
“Programs are meant to be introspective, reflective, and immersive, Stembridge said. He pointed out that travel programs should not be about tourism, but about being immersed in a culture, either through educational experiences or community service. The programs at Newton South right now do just that, and new ones being proposed continue to follow guidelines that aim to enrich the experience of students.

Stembridge also supported the scholarship program that helps Newton North and Newton South students travel that would not be able to otherwise. The fund, which was founded in 2008, gives students the opportunity to participate. Stembridge, along with the city of Newton, is dedicated to making it possible.

Overall, Stembridge is very supportive of international programs and hopes that students will gain humility and understanding through them.

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