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Educators from seven countries will gather in Westlake later this week for Westlake Academy’s second annual International Mindedness Educator Symposium, to be held July 28 to 30 at Westlake Academy, 2600 JT Ottinger Road. Registration more than doubled for this year’s symposium with participants from Argentina, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Oman, Mexico, and U.S. attendees from Washington DC, North Carolina and Texas including grad students from Texas Tech.

At the event, participants meet others committed to global collaboration and plan activities to give students authentic international learning experiences. Breakout sessions will include key-note speakers Dr. Linda A. Cook, the K-12 Director of Science for the Coppell Independent School District; Bhavani Parpia, founder and President of ConnecTeach, an international nonprofit that is committed to breaking the cycle of poverty; and Mona Nashman- Smith, who has held senior educational leadership positions in schools in North America, Europe and the Middle East.

Last year’s symposium included educators from Costa Rica, Mexico, and Argentina as well as surrounding areas in Texas. The after-effect generated collaboration during the 2015-2016 school year that included “global handshakes” via Skype sessions so students could connect and engage with each other. One project that came out of this partnership was the successful LIMBS International campaign, where students raised money to buy prosthetics for amputees.

Dr. Mechelle Bryson, executive principal/director of education at Westlake Academy, said global collaboration is a critical component to successful participation in our global economy. She said last year’s symposium was an exceptional two days of learning with others from different cultures.

“Our teachers made meaningful connections and designed projects with these new friends that created authentic experiences for our students,” she said. “These learning experiences prepare our students for success in a global economy.”

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