Scott Huffman is on the road to ChinaHudson High School will be without one of its associate principals this week. Scott Huffman is on his way to China.
By: Meg Heaton, Hudson Star-Observer
Hudson High School will be without one of its associate principals this week. Scott Huffman is on his way to China.
Huffman, who has been at HHS for 10 years, is the school district’s representative with a delegation of Wisconsin educators and the China Exchange Initiative. Originally Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten was slated to make the trip but Huffman was tapped earlier this year when circumstances changed.
Huffman had already expressed an interest in the global literacy goal of the district’s long range plan, HSD 2025, and efforts to provide Hudson students with experiences beyond their community and their country. The trip to China comes on heels of a similar visit from a principal at a secondary school in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China to Hudson earlier this school year. The ultimate goal of the exchange is to have students from both communities make similar trips. Huffman said that Hudson students may be traveling to China sometime in the next two years.
Clearly excited about the possibilities this opportunity affords him and HHS students, Huffman said his trip includes a conference sponsored by China’s Ministry of Education in Bejing and time in Harbin, Wisconsin’s sister state in China, at the school there. He will be staying with the family of the principal who visited Hudson.
He will also travel to the ancient city of Xian, home of the famous terra cotta warriors, as it would likely be one of the stops students would make on an exchange trip to China. “I want to get a feel for what their trip should include, the distances and logistics of things and where and what they should see.”
Huffman has also made contact with a HHS alumnus Paul Swenson who lives and works in Shanghai and who he hopes to meet during the trip. “I think it would be interesting to talk with him about bringing students over.”
In preparation for the trip, HHS Manadrin Chinese language teacher Andrea Traverse has been coaching Huffman on some basic phrases and made him a set of flashcards and a recording he can practice with on the 14-hour flight over. He also has a Chinese name that translated means “bright, kind, gentle society.”
He is also taking some gifts for his hosts and others he meets along the way including copies of the Hudson Community Guide, Knoke’s chocolates and souvenir “quarter cards,” laminated cards that carry a Wisconsin 25 cent piece and a message, in both Chinese and English, of friendship from the Hudson School District.
Trading cards designed by Hudson elementary students have already been sent to schools in Harbin, along with blank cards that students there can make and send back to Hudson. Huffman said this effort and the trip are just the beginning in forging a relationship between the communities and their schools.
Huffman arrives in China today (April 8) and will be there until April 25. Anyone interested can read about his trip on his blog which can be accessed through Huffman’s directory listing on the HHS Web site at www.hudson.wi.k12.us. He also plans to broadcast back to the school from points throughout his trip via Skype.