Student ambassadors share experiences
Four students and a teacher from the Ambassador School for Global Leadership (ASGL) in Los Angeles visited Heights High and the CH-UH community for four days in early February. The ASGL is a sister school to the Renaissance School—both are members of the International Studies Schools Network (ISSN). The 34-member network prepares students for work and civic roles in a global environment.
The ASGL delegation arrived during a snowstorm—a first-time experience for the students, who declared it “beautiful!” Before attending Heights High for two days, the students met their host families, toured downtown Cleveland and Case Western Reserve University, visited the toboggan runs in the Cuyahoga Valley and spent two hours sledding in Cain Park on a snowy evening.
The ASGL students shadowed Renaissance students for two days while their teacher, Maria Hernandez, observed science teachers. The culminating project was a three-hour work session where the ASGL students trained nine Heights High students and several staff to use a dialogue process called Council.
AGSL uses Council to encourage communication and build relationships. “When students feel free to talk about the content and to bring their own experience to the table, the learning is deeper and more meaningful,” said Hernandez.
“We want everyone to feel safe to speak and to know that we value their ideas,” said Jen Padilla, one of the ASGL student leaders.
The ISSN reinforces Renaissance School’s Society pathway. “We want our students to investigate the world, recognize perspectives, communicate ideas and take action,” said James Reed, Renaissance principal. “While we eventually want to venture internationally, partnering with ASGL provides a very different lens to the world for our students.” The ASGL school is located in a predominately Latino and Korean community. The Renaissance School is exploring a spring exchange with ASGL.
The International Studies Schools Network is a project of the Asia Society, founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller III to promote mutual understanding among peoples, leaders and institutions of Asia and the United States.
Joy Henderson is the parent/community liaison for Cleveland Heights High School.