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Four VASS Members Win Scholarships to Finland and Italy

Appomattox Superintendent Dorinda Grasty, Radford Superintendent Rob Graham, Montgomery Superintendent Mark Miear, and New Kent Superintendent Dave Myers won full travel scholarships to Helsinki, Finland and Milan, Italy in a national competition sponsored by VASS Senior Associate Partner EF Education First.  The superintendents will travel from July 2 – 10, 2017 to explore the foundations and future of education while immersing themselves in Finnish and Italian culture with other educators. 

This professional development program is organized by EF Education First in conjunction with their Global Leadership Summit, which includes students from all over the world and in which the superintendents will participate in Milan.  During the Summit, the superintendents will hear from world-renowned speakers and attend workshops as they work together on problem-solving for this year’s theme, the Future of Food.

The winners were selected on the basis of their interest in and commitment to global education initiatives within their state.  Each contestant had to submit three 400-word essays addressing: how he/she prepares students to be successful in today’s global society; how he/she promotes global competency and teach 21st Century skills in his/her school district; how he/she will use his/her travel experience to benefit his/her students and community; and how an international education program would benefit his/her school district.

Stephanie Lennon, EF Education First Representative for Strategic Partnerships in Virginia, was instrumental in promoting the competition in Virginia to get a large applicant pool.  It was unusual to have four superintendents selected from one state.