Principal from Turkey at CDO for six weeks - Tucson Local Media: Import

Principal from Turkey at CDO for six weeks

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Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2003 12:00 am

Many people who attended Amphitheater Public School's most recent board meeting saw on the agenda one more chapter in a long, drawn-out discussion about what to do with the school calendar.

For Hakki Mergenci, though, the agenda item was an interesting example of democratic decision making.

"If you start from the beginning with committees and make changes, when finalized, the calendar will satisfy more than 50 percent," he said.

Mergenci is the equivalent of a principal at Development Foundation School, a private Turkish high school in Ankara, Turkey. For six weeks, he will be Principal Michael Gemma's shadow at Canyon del Oro High School, attending department chair meetings and high school physics classes, and other activities that shed light on education in America. His first day was Oct. 27.

Mergenci is a Fulbright exchange administrator. Gemma will be one too in March, when he begins six weeks of shadowing Mergenci at his school in Ankara.

Ten years ago, Mergenci spent a school year in Seattle teaching math at a high school there as a Fulbright exchange teacher.

"Basically you're a sponge, and you try to get over there and soak up as much experience and information as you can," Gemma said.

The Fulbright Program, formed by Congress in 1946, gives leaders and future leaders the chance to better comprehend the institutions, cultures and societies of other countries and people.

Since the mid-1940s, more than 85,000 Fulbright scholars have studied, taught or conducted research in 140 countries around the world, and America has hosted more than 144,000 international scholars.

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