Pacific Ridge School has established a sister school partnership with National Wen Hua Senior High School of Taiwan. The agreement acknowledges the intentions of the two schools to build awareness, understanding, and empathy between the communities; and to provide the opportunity for faculty and students to have first hand experience of a different culture.
Earlier this month, administrators from both schools, as well as representatives from the San Diego International Cities Association and the San Diego-Taichung Sister Cities Association, met at Pacific Ridge for the signing of the agreement. The signing was followed by a gift exchange and Chinese song and dance performances in celebration of both the new partnership and the Chinese New Year.
“It is an honor to sign a sister school agreement with our new friends at National Wen Hua Senior High School,” said Pacific Ridge Head of School Dr. Bob Ogle. “Establishing meaningful connections with people in different parts of the world is key to our school’s mission of graduating students who are global citizens.”
The relationship between the two schools began last year, when a National Wen Hua alumna living in Encinitas, and Chinese teachers at Pacific Ridge began discussing the possibility of an exchange program. From Jan. 23-31 a group of twelve students from National Wen Hua visited Pacific Ridge School. The Taiwanese students spent over a week fully immersed in the Pacific Ridge experience, including attending classes, staying with local host families, and participating in social events.
Arron Chen, a teacher at National Wen Hua and chaperone for the visiting students, said both he and his students felt welcomed and embraced by the Pacific Ridge community.
“Our students feel lucky to be exposed to this type of learning environment,” Chen said. [Pacific Ridge students] have such global awareness and are so comfortable interacting with people from different parts of the world.”
This will be the first sister school agreement for National Wen Hua. Pacific Ridge School has additional sister school relationships with Shidong High School in Shanghai, China and Lycée Victor Duruy in France. Forming meaningful relationships with schools around the globe helps facilitate Pacific Ridge’s mission of global engagement. As part of the curriculum, more than 90 percent of Pacific Ridge's 500 students engage in purposeful global travel each May. A pivotal ninth grade experience includes a class trip to China, while older students are able to design their own trip or choose from a list of school-designed trips with destinations as diverse as Japan, South Africa, Turkey, Argentina, and more.
—Pacific Ridge School