CARBONDALE — Carbondale Elementary School District 95 welcomed three international school administrators as part of the 2012-2013 Adminstrator Exchange Program.
Ade’lia Maria Leal Lopes of Portugal and Ivan Jose Nunes Francisco and Jose Ribamar Carvalho, both of Brazil, will spend three weeks in Carbondale touring schools, visiting classrooms, meeting government officals and visiting local organizations. Program provides an opportunity for CES to collaborate with international partners on administrative experiences, develop school management strategies and increase international understanding.
Lopes became a school administrator when she was asked to run a the age of 23 by a colleague. School administrators are elected in Portugal. She agreed to run, thinking there was no way her colleagues would elect someone her age, and she was elected.
“I didn’t know anything about anything,” Lopes said. “I made a program about school leadership.”
She learned “on-the-job” and through the newly created school leadership program. She continues to hold the position of director of the same school.
Francisco and Carvalho are some of the top leaders in education in Brazil. Francisco has a degree in biology, several degrees in school administration and an advanced degree in biology. His school has students in first grade through high school. Carvalho has a bachelor’s degrees in education and history and advanced degrees in history. His school has students in first through ninth grades.
This is the second time Francisco has been on an exchange to the United States. His first visit was to California.
“Every time there is more to learn,” he said.
The men were fascinated to to learn the intricacies of the adminstrative system, especially American school boards and how parents participate in the school system.
Michael Shimshak, superintendant of CES District 95, said the district is very fortunate to have been selected for the program. “We’re really excited,” he said.
Shimshak hopes the exchange is the beginning of a long-term partnership and collaboration with the administrators in Portugal and Brazil. He expects the exchange to help develop teacher leadership and give staff and students an intercultural view.
“In the end, our students will have a broader world view and be able to participate as global citizens,” Shimshak said.
The exchange is a program of Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State implemented by American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS. Partners include The Commission for Educational Exchange between the U.S.A. and the Argentine Republic, the Bunge y Born Foundation, National Councils of State Secretaries of Education—CONSED/Brazil, U.S. Embassy Brasilia Public Affairs Section, Portuguese Fulbright Commission, Luso-American Foundation, and Thailand-U.S. Educational Foundation.
For more information, call the district office at 618-457-3591.