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Mariana Oprea, Exceptional Children's Teacher at Piedmont High School, Selected as World Affairs Council

Mariana Oprea will travel to Thailand in July to establish a sister school for students at Piedmont as part of her selection as a World Affairs Council Scholar.

Mariana Oprea, Exceptional Children's Teacher at Piedmont High School, has been selected as a 2012-2013 World Affairs Council Scholar. Oprea will receive a $2500 scholarship to travel to Thailand in July with other educators and administrators. While in Thailand, Oprea will visit famous Thai sites and establish a sister school that will partner with students at Piedmont High School.

The World Affairs Council of Charlotte is committed to the expansion of international education in area schools. The Council Scholarship Program is designed to annually reward a few outstanding teachers or administrators in grades K-12 who have demonstrated a commitment to international education. As part of the Council Scholar Program, Oprea will be recognized at the 2013 World Citizen Award Dinner, receive invitations to special Council programs and dinner receptions, be a lifetime member of the Council, have the opportunity to coordinate seminars and roundtable discussions with past scholars and experts for curriculum development, content enrichment, classroom resources, and
professional interaction, and receive a $2500 scholarship for study

Oprea’s “obvious passion for international affairs” was cited in her award letter from the World Affairs Council of Charlotte. Oprea will travel to Bangkok, Thailand on July 14 and then embark on a series of visits to places such as the Elephant Conservation Center, the Thai War Museum & Cemetery, and the Grand Palace. She will also visit a Thai
school to work on projects and develop a relationship that will transfer back to Piedmont next school year in the form of a sister school.

Oprea came to the United States from Romania 10 years ago as part of a foreign exchange program. She is in her second year at Piedmont as the teacher of the Transition to Adulthood Program. She is part of the Globalization Committee, which works with teachers and students to integrate global awareness into the curriculum. When asked about her recognition, Oprea stated, "I am honored to receive the award. There are many people out there who are all working incredibly hard, making a big difference. I am also very excited about the extraordinary opportunity to visit Thailand and to bring back and share my experiences with students and staff as we continue to focus on globalization, which is one of our district initiatives. I would like to thank our administrators, globalization committee and EC department for their support and encouragement." Oprea shared an inspirational quote by Zoe Weil that serves as a rationale for the importance of global awareness in our school: “All it takes for generosity to flow is awareness. By actively pursuing awareness and knowledge, we can make choices that cause less harm and greater good to others in the global community of our shared earth.”

Written by: Donna Helms
Posted: Jan 15, 2013 by Hillary Kroboth

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