Northwest Christian School (NCS) in Puyallup finalized in January an international sister-school relationship with Wonju Sahmyook Middle School in an agreement that began a year ago.
School representatives Craig Mattson, NCS principal, and Chrystal Clemens, NCS office manager, along with Washington Conference education representatives traveled to Korea about a year ago to meet with Wonju administrators and begin the sister-school partnership.
“Part of this agreement was an American cultural immersion experience for Wonju students every January hosted by Northwest Christian School,” explains Mattson. “Our NCS students spent quality time with our friends from Korea learning firsthand about the Korean language, Korean culture and customs.”
Twenty students and two administrators from Korea arrived in mid-January and were welcomed into host family homes. During their stay, the students experienced a range of local attractions including the Boeing factory, Microsoft campus, Space Needle, the Pacific Science Center, Pike Place, Safeco Field, Olympia’s capital building and Crystal Mountain ski area. Host families also took students on several independent outings.
During the three-week stay, contract teacher Stacy Tejel provided English learner classroom training. Duane Shabo, from the Puyallup Church community, conducted a model-rocket building workshop.
“When it was time to say goodbye, tears flowed as students from both schools embraced,” Mattson says. “The impact of this program on our students and on the students from the Wonju Adventist Middle School cannot be overstated. It was an experience none of us shall soon forget.”