The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

July 14, 2013

Greater Johnstown hopes to go global

Developing exchange program with China

JOHNSTOWN — The Greater Johnstown School District last week played host to 10 Chinese students who hope to spend their senior year studying in the district.

The only remaining matter to pave the way for the visit is for the visitors to obtain student visas.

The school district has established an international educational program and has plans to lease a structure in the 8th Ward to house the Chinese students. The Chinese families would bear all costs associated with the building and the tuition.

The goal is to invite a total of 60 Chinese students over the next few years to study here with Johnstown students traveling to China to do the same.

The Chinese students are applying for long-term visas – passports that would enable them to remain in America long enough to go on to college, said Greater Johnstown High School Principal Michael Vuckovich.

“It’s a one-of-a kind program, and we’re very excited about the potential this program has to introduce our students to a global environment.

“Future plans include organizing an international exchange program whereby Johnstown High School teachers and students will teach and study in China.”

“Additionally, we believe Johnstown High School will be one of the first public schools in the nation to have such a program,” he said.

“Our teachers also will share their best teaching practices with the best that the Chinese have to offer for the betterment of all students,” he said.

Along with the 10 Chinese students, five principals and teachers from China also visited Johnstown last week.

Greater Johnstown Schools Superintendent Gerald Zahorchak said the international educational program is an opportunity to experience great, real-world cultural exchange.

“We get to exchange language and understand each other,” he said. “We get to challenge ourselves as we challenge our new students from China to reach beyond academically and achievement-wise.”

William Pan, co-chairman of the New York City-based Ivy International Education Group, which is working to promote the educational relationship between the U.S. and China, said during the visit that the program with Johnstown is going well.

Don D, of the International Foundation Alliance for China, which also is helping to promote the relationship, said the program is great and has enabled Chinese and Johnstown students to communicate via email.

Wong Wei, a Chinese student, is one of the students taking advantage of that medium.

“Many of my best friends are here,” he said, adding that he keeps in touch with them via email.

Lisa Weng, another Chinese student, said studying in Johns-town will make them more independent because of being away from home.

Jane Xu, another Chinese student, said she has noticed during her visits to America that American high schools are more technology-oriented than Chinese schools.

Students here also have more freedom to choose subjects in which they are interested, she said.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • smothers ‘It breaks my heart’: Shooting victim’s death leaves trail of shattered lives

    Victoria Smothers knows what people thought when they heard that a young black male had been shot to death in Moxham last week.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • School violence studied

    On a typical day last year, Pennsylvania schools caught 11 students toting weapons similar to ones used to slash 21 students and a security guard at a Pittsburgh-area high school, according to the state Department of Education. An untold number of others likely brought weapons to school but weren’t caught, safety experts say.

    April 16, 2014

  • Home is Where The Tribune-Democrat is Delivered!

    April 17, 2014

  • egg hunt17 ACRP quietly notes 25th anniversary

    There will be little or no fanfare accompanying Alternative Community Resource Program’s 25th anniversary.
    And that’s how the executive director, Frank Janakovic, wants it.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • windber17 Windber students earn top ‘Overchiever’ rank

    Windber Area school’s PSSA scores have been tops in the region for the past several years.
    This year, they’re among the head of the class statewide, Pittsburgh Business Times annual Schools Guide shows.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wise, Charles Police charge bank robbery suspect

    A Johnstown man was jailed on $250,000 bond after police said he robbed the West End Branch of AmeriServ Financial. Charles Wise, 48, of Barron Avenue, was charged with two counts of robbery.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Inmate awaits sentencing for assault on guard

    A former inmate faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced for assaulting a corrections officer at State Correctional Institution-Somerset, authorities said.

    April 16, 2014

  • windber pool Pool stays afloat despite troubles

    When a valve broke at the Windber Recreation Park pool last month, its municipal authority caretakers feared that meant the end for the pool’s aged, much-patched liner.
    But the old liner has held up – a stroke of luck that will save Windber Municipal Authority from having to seek a line of credit to cover repairs or risk delaying the pool opening, the authority’s recreation director, C.W. Beckley, said.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Creativity blossoming for spring art show

    The 16th annual Art in Bloom spring art show will brighten the Cambria County Courthouse in Ebensburg from noon to 6 p.m. April 26 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 27.

    April 16, 2014

  • Alcatraz Challenge offers escape from routine

    Greater Johnstown Community YMCA is gearing up for its indoor biathlon, the Alcatraz Challenge.

    April 16, 2014


Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads