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One Team, One Mission Goes Global

Thirty-six teachers and students represent Marvin Ridge High School in Nanjing, China this summer.

Given a stop-time of less than 2:00 minutes, how long does it take thirty-six teachers and students to deboard a bullet train travelling from Beijing, China to their drop-off point in Nanjing, China, with all luggage and bags in tow? No, this is not a question on a Discrete Math final exam. It was a real life situation for the team in China this summer, and the answer is forty-six seconds! What a team with a mission can do!

For the third consecutive summer, a team of teachers from Marvin Ridge High School, our cluster, and around Union County travelled to teach English at the Sino-American Bi-Lingual Summer Camp at our sister school, the High School Affiliated to Nanjing Normal University, Jiangning Campus, in Nanjing, China. This summer, we were able to add five MRHS students to the team, and they attended the camp, stayed with host families, and participated in many other cultural activities.


Teachers who were members of the largest team to go so far included: Lisa Justice, Xiaohong Hu Mueller, Nancy Titus, Patrick Ankenbruck, Tamara May, Jose Sevilla, Hillary Steere, Julie van Olden Taylor Dickerson, Stephen Harris, and Alison Dumas from Marvin Ridge High; Christopher Morris, Thea Rossano, Dan Stone, and Ron Kinyanjui from Marvin Ridge Middle; Christine Brent, Tracey Crooks, Jeannette Minick, Jenn Zywicki, and Meighan Ash from Rea View Elementary; Erin McConnell and Kim Williams from Marvin Elementary; Troy King from Weddington Middle; Sibyll Spoons-Salazar, Christina Bachiller, and Allison Mitchell from Weddington High; Samantha Jardon-Peppard and Vanetta July from Cuthbertson Middle; Susan Williams from Kensington Elementary; Marlena James from Monroe High; and Tyler Beard from Porter Ridge High.
Students who enjoyed the adventure of a lifetime were seniors Luke Miller and Christiania Mullis; juniors Dana King and Rebecca McRee; and freshman Riley Porter.


The group was able to begin their journey in Beijing, China. They toured areas like the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, the Olympic Village, and the Summer Palace. The most exciting part of the stay in Beijing was the morning of climbing at the Great Wall! The weather was unbelievably clear that day, so views and pictures were incredible.

To travel to Nanjing from Beijing is about a 10 hour drive by car or bus, so to speed things up, the group boarded a “bullet” train that covered the Chinese countryside at 300KM per hour (about 186 miles per hour)! Soon after getting on the train, everyone found out that the train-stops were very quick, and that we would have to exit the train at bullet speed when we arrived in Nanjing. After planning an exit strategy, it was the first of many team efforts of the group. No one was left behind!


Summer Camp in Nanjing played host to over 1800 elementary and middle school students this year, and lasted for twelve days. Students attend all kinds of classes, including English, and perform in many events in the evenings. The teachers were also hosted for dinner one evening by a family from the sister school. Summer Camp is a true cultural exchange! It is a huge undertaking on the part of our sister school as well, and we are very happy to be included in such a successful venture. When the first group of Marvin Ridge teachers went over in 2011, the number of students was about 900. We are greatly encouraged by the growth of the program, and the strengthening of our sister school relationship that the camp provides.


During a visit of exchange students from Nanjing to Marvin Ridge back in February, the assistant principal travelling with them asked about “One Team on One Mission” as it was posted around our school. The summer camp theme was born! Our sister school fully embraced our team spirit, and the banner in the pictures was a gift from our administration. One Team, One Mission has definitely gone global and impacted Nanjing, China!

Written by: Beth Hamilton
Posted: Aug 27, 2013 by Beth Hamilton

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