Vickilyn Hussey
Photo caption: Pictured (l to r) CCUSD ASU Confucius Classroom Signing Ceremony: Dr. Joe Cutter, Director, ASU Confucius Institute and Mr. Steve Bebee, Principal, Cactus Shadows High School. Background (l to r): Obidike Nnorom Jr. and Shanan Sypkens, the Masters of Ceremony.
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CSHS awarded Confucius Classroom designation

Elizabeth Medora~ 10/1/2014

CAVE CREEK – Cactus Shadows High School is expanding their World Language Mandarin Chinese offerings with the Confucius Classroom designation. Both Cactus Shadows and Sonoran Trails Middle School were endowed with this designation at a ceremony on Sept. 25.

Confucius Classrooms exist all over the world (approximately 70 in the United States), based in classrooms of schools dedicated to excellence in teaching Mandarin Chinese.

“We’re excited for what this partnership we’re entering into will bring to our school and community,” said CSHS principal Steve Bebee, speaking at the ceremony.

Dr. Joe Cutter, ASU Confucius Institute and Dr. Wei Hen Chen, Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China were guests of honor at the ceremony at Cactus Shadows.

Cutter discussed the Mandarin Chinese programs available, stating that, for students, there is “nothing more important than studying other languages and other cultures” and that this study “opens an incredible number of pathways.”

Chen also addressed the assembly, saying that learning each others’ languages and making an effort to understand each other is “making the world a better world.” Chen noted that, in addition to scholarships being offered by the U.S. government, the Chinese government wanted to offer scholarships to students, as well, to further encourage the learning of Mandarin Chinese.

“We want to do our part to support this learning project – to make it sustainable,” Chen emphasized. Chen added that the Chinese language level he had observed from the CSHS students was already good enough to qualify for scholarships and that students’ learning was going to provide students with “market, opportunity, and fun for the future.”

Cutter and Bebee participated in a signing ceremony, signifying the prestige of the award. After the signing, Cactus Shadows students and staff members displayed their talents with dances and musical performances. Booths were also set up in the lobby at which students displayed their learning of various Chinese games and activities.

For more information on Cactus Shadows High School’s world languages programs, see www.CCUSD93.org/CactusShadowsHS.