ShareThis Page
News

Hampton gives Russian teachers taste of America

| Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014, 9:01 p.m.
Interpreter Andrey Belousov translates a tour of Hampton Middle School as given by eighth graders Regan Rushmore and Evan Waldschmidt into Russian for a group of visiting educators. The Russian teachers and administrators, from the Chelyabinsk region, were at the school district on Dec. 4 as part of a weeklong tour of the Pittsburgh region to learn more about pre-k to 12 education.
Rachel Farkas | Trib Total Media
Interpreter Andrey Belousov translates a tour of Hampton Middle School as given by eighth graders Regan Rushmore and Evan Waldschmidt into Russian for a group of visiting educators. The Russian teachers and administrators, from the Chelyabinsk region, were at the school district on Dec. 4 as part of a weeklong tour of the Pittsburgh region to learn more about pre-k to 12 education.
A group of 50 Russian teachers from the Chelyabinsk region of Russia take a tour of Hampton High School as part of a World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh program Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014.
Jasmine Goldband | Trib Total Media
A group of 50 Russian teachers from the Chelyabinsk region of Russia take a tour of Hampton High School as part of a World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh program Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014.
A group of 50 Russian teachers from the Chelyabinsk region of Russia take a tour of Hampton High School as part of a World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh program Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014.
Jasmine Goldband | Trib Total Media
A group of 50 Russian teachers from the Chelyabinsk region of Russia take a tour of Hampton High School as part of a World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh program Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014.
Liudmila Ponomareva, center, takes a photograph of Erin Marron's 9th grade english students at Hampton High School during a tour with a group of 50 Russian teachers from the Chelyabinsk Region of Russia as part of a World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh program Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014.
Jasmine Goldband | Trib Total Media
Liudmila Ponomareva, center, takes a photograph of Erin Marron's 9th grade english students at Hampton High School during a tour with a group of 50 Russian teachers from the Chelyabinsk Region of Russia as part of a World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh program Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014.
Olga Pelikh visits Hampton High School as part of a tour with a group of 50 Russian teachers from the Chelyabinsk Region of Russia as part of a World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh program Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014. Pelikh was an academic adviser to Evgeni Malkin when he was in 7th and 8th grade in Russia.
Jasmine Goldband | Trib Total Media
Olga Pelikh visits Hampton High School as part of a tour with a group of 50 Russian teachers from the Chelyabinsk Region of Russia as part of a World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh program Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014. Pelikh was an academic adviser to Evgeni Malkin when he was in 7th and 8th grade in Russia.
Olga Pelikh (left) pauses as Galina Petrova takes a photograph of a drama club poster at Hampton High School on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014. The women are from the Chelyabinsk region of Russia. They toured Hampton schools with a group of 50 Russian teachers as part of a World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh program. Pelikh was an academic adviser to the Pittsburgh Penguins' Evgeni Malkin when he was in seventh and eighth grade in Russia.
Jasmine Goldband | Trib Total Media
Olga Pelikh (left) pauses as Galina Petrova takes a photograph of a drama club poster at Hampton High School on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014. The women are from the Chelyabinsk region of Russia. They toured Hampton schools with a group of 50 Russian teachers as part of a World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh program. Pelikh was an academic adviser to the Pittsburgh Penguins' Evgeni Malkin when he was in seventh and eighth grade in Russia.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was a big hit with children last week at the tree light up event at Hampton Community Center.
Louis Raggiunti | Trib Total Media
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was a big hit with children last week at the tree light up event at Hampton Community Center.

For a group of visitors to the Hampton Township School District, it was not only their first time in the district, it was their first time in the country.

Russian educators from the Chelyabinsk region visited three of Hampton Township's schools on Dec. 4 as part of a weeklong tour of the Pittsburgh region with the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh, said Amiena Mahsoob, director of education programs with World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh.

The 50 teachers and administrators were learning about education in preschool through high school, how outside organizations such as intermediate units and vo-tech schools contribute to learning, and creating partnerships with schools and other groups.

“We wanted to give them a sampling of really great schools in the region that are doing really great things,” Mahsoob said. “Naturally, we thought of Hampton.”

The visitors started their day in Hampton at the middle school, where they split into small groups and were led around the school by eighth-grade tour guides. They took photos of classrooms, posters and lockers and asked questions, translated through an interpreter, about the various aspects of the school building, schedules and courses.

“It's been really cool to show them around,” said Regan Rushmore, 15, an eighth-grader studying Russian as part of her global-exploration class. “It's a neat experience.”

They visited Central Elementary School and Hampton High School in the afternoon.

One of these educators was Olga Pelikh, who was Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin's teacher nearly 14 years ago.

“He had a lot of fun and made a lot of jokes,” Pelikh said through an interpreter.

“But he was actually very well organized and a good student.”

She said everybody back home is very proud of Malkin's accomplishments. She said she hopes one day he will be able to come to her classroom again to speak to the students.

Early in the week of their visit, the Russians went through training that took them in depth into the United States' education system and trends in American education before getting into the schools, said Andrey Belousov, one of the group's interpreters. Only a few in the group spoke English fluently.

Belousov, a native Russian who lived in Pittsburgh for 12 years, said for many of the educators, it was their first time in the United States.

“They love it,” he said. “There was a lot of theoretical information in the first day, so it's good for them to see it in action.”

In addition to touring Hampton Township School District, they also visited Beth Shalom Early Childhood Learning Center, the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, A.W. Beattie Career Center, the Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy, Winchester Thurston School and the Environmental Charter School.

Irina Selivanova, an English teacher at UNESCO School 104 in Chelyabinsk, said she was happy to visit the school district.

As a first time visitor to the United States, she said, she will be bringing a lot of new ideas back to her school in Russia and would love to do a collaborative project with Hampton students in the future.

“The teachers are so interesting and very creative, and the students are so active,” Selivanova said. “I would like to have more time to see everything and to be able to have the experience of the students.”

Rachel Farkas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or rfarkas@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me