New Directions

We all know a whole lot of learning takes place in the classrooms here on campus. Now, Gilman’s newly appointed Global Programs Coordinator Lee Hadbavny is introducing new ways to extend the Gilman experience through international travel and exchanges.

By Lee Hadbavny, Global Programs Coordinator

As Gilman’s newly appointed Global Programs Coordinator, it’s my pleasure to announce an exciting new chapter in the long and proud history of Global Programs at Gilman. In my role as coordinator, it’s my job- if you can call it that – to build upon the amazing work that so many people at Gilman have been doing for many years to bring our boys out into the world through international travel and exchanges.

Gilman is committed to the idea that preparing our boys to lead rich and fulfilling lives in an ever more interconnected world means experiencing the world through global education and global encounter. In seeking out new opportunities for Gilman students to explore the world, I believe we should be guided by four essential global values: global understanding, global appreciation, global citizenship, and global empathy. By embracing these core values, we are making purposeful strides toward our goal of educating our boys to be globally competent and globally confident citizens of the twenty-first century world.

The following summer expeditions are just two of the ongoing global projects happening at Gilman this year:

This June, Upper School science teacher Frank Fitzgibbon and I will lead an expedition of Gilman boys to Yorkshire in North of England. Dubbed the Kiplin Hall Program in the Sciences and Humanities, this trip will engage students in an adventure that draws together many threads of the Upper School curriculum in science, literature, and history. Kiplin Hall – the home base for this encounter – is an ancestral home of the Calvert family in the hills of Yorkshire, recently renovated in part by the University of Maryland School of Architecture, which has been made available to schools and other educational institutions in Maryland. From here, boys will explore ruins of Rome, monasteries and castles of the Middle Ages, and the poetry inspired by the Lake District. They will go fossil hunting on England’s coast and explore ecology and evolutionary biology at wildlife reserves.

In July, I will be leading a trip along with my colleague in the Upper School history department, Jason Sport, to Eldoret, Kenya. Gilman boys and girls from Roland Park Country School (RPCS) and Bryn Mawr School (BMS) will take part in the Elewana Education Project’s Service and Leadership Academy. As a part of this service-learning initiative, students will engage with peers in a school in western Kenya, undergo training in sustainable development, and work together with the community to design and implement a sustainable community service project. The trip will also conclude with a multi-day safari in Kenya and Tanzania’s Masai Mara Wildlife Reserve.

Additionally, Gilman has been involved with several international exchanges this academic year.

Over spring break in March, Lower School Spanish teacher Cecilia Eppler and new Upper School Spanish teacher Christian Beitel led a group of Upper School boys and girls from RPCS and BMS to Seville, Spain, where they were immersed in Spanish language and culture as part of an exchange with the IES Triana School. This is the latest exchange in a relationship that was started over a decade ago by upper school teacher Will Perkins (now the self-described “godfather” of the trip). Students participating in the exchange stayed in the homes of their counterparts at IES Triana, took classes in Spanish, and went on day trips throughout the region. As I write this, students from IES Triana are now in Baltimore on the second leg of the exchange. Bienvenidos!

Upper School students hiking the North Sierra of the Province of Seville with their Spanish hosts during spring break 2014.

Gilman, Bryn Mawr, and RPCS students hike Spain’s North Sierra with host students from Instituto Triana in Seville during spring break. The Spanish students visited Baltimore this spring.

Speaking of Seville, at the same time that our Upper School boys were taking part in the IES Triana Exchange, a group of 25 eighth graders led by music teacher Liz Sesler-Beckman and others were also touring the south of Spain, exploring ancient and medieval sites, Spanish language, and the cultural heritage of a region still rich with the legacy of the interaction of Muslims, Jews, and Christians. This global encounter opportunity, along with trips to France that run in alternate years, has been a cherished capstone to the Middle School experience since its inception by Middle School modern language teacher Pam Abruzzo in 2006.

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Traveling from Granada to Toledo, Spain, students stop at the windmills which Cervantes’ Don Quixote mistook for giants.

This March, Gilman also hosted three students from England and one student from Prague as part of our ongoing exchange relationships with St. Edwards’ School and Christ’s Hospital School in England and PORG (First Restored Secondary School) in Prague. Later this summer Gilman students Spencer Perry, Jack Deering, and Ben Gant will travel to England and Ben Moore will travel to the Czech Republic.

These opportunities provide our boys with ways to engage with others from all over the world, to add a vivid new dimension to what they are learning in the classroom, to make a difference in the global community, and most importantly to learn things about themselves and the men they will become.

This is just the beginning of many exciting new programs. Gilman students can look forward to even more global encounter opportunities in the months to come. We will be launching a new Global Programs on the Gilman website later this summer, so look for announcements coming soon about new projects for 2014-2015.

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