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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 25, 2003

Georgian School Administrators To Visit Feb. 25-28

Five secondary school administrators from the Republic of Georgia will visit Iowa City Feb. 25 to Feb. 28 through the Council for International Visitors to Iowa Cities (CIVIC). The main purpose of this visit is to gain a better understanding of the U.S. secondary school system as their country seeks to implement a number of educational reforms.

The following educational administrators will participate in the CIVIC visit: Tamar Jobadze, principal, Surami Number 3, Upper Secondary School, since 1990; Aleko Kvintradze, principal, Chokhatauri Gymnasium (upper secondary school), since 1995 and teacher at the Teacher of Georgian language and literature, Chokhatauri Gymnasium; since 1981; Nuazhar Lezhava, principal, Secondary School Number 5, since 1987; Nana Tavdishvili, principal of the Lesa Secondary School since 1994 and teacher of mathematics, Lesa Secondary School, since 1985; and Noe Tsertsvadze, principal of the Kveda Gora Secondary School since 2000 and a teacher of geology and biology at Kveda Gora Secondary School since 2000.

Upon their arrival, the five administrators will attend the Iowa City Community School District school board meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25 at the Henry Sabin Central Administration Building, 509 S. Dubuque St. They will meet with central administration staff, including Pam Ehly, the assistant superintendent from 9 to 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26.

The administrators will also travel to Solon to meet with the president of the Solon Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the role of parents, volunteers and fundraising. The principals have a meeting scheduled with another University of Iowa faculty member, Paul Retish, a professor in the College of Education, at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 27, in Room 789 of Van Allen Hall on the UI campus.

Also on Feb. 27, at 1:30 p.m., the administrators will meet with Carolyn Wanat, an associate professor for educational policy and leadership studies in The University of Iowa's College of Education. The meeting will take place at the North Lindquist Center in Room 201.

The five principals are interested in learning about: general management and financing of the school system, curriculum development, role of volunteers in the schools, role of teachers' unions in the schools, extra-curricular activities, staff training and collaborative activities, role of parents and PTA organizations, fund raising activities, teacher training on the college level, and the uses of information technology and computers in school.

Although Georgia has a long and rich history of educational and literacy, conditions in schools have generally deteriorated in the 10 years of independence from the Soviet Union. Many of these administrators have taken part in efforts under the aegis of the World Bank and other international donors seeking to reform and improve the education system.

CIVIC is a community organization of volunteers "serving and hosting international visitors as a means to promote international understanding on a person-to-person basis," according to Tom Baldridge, CIVIC executive director. It's one of two such organizations in Iowa that accommodates the U.S. Information Agency's International Visitor Program. The other is in Des Moines.

CIVIC also is looking for volunteers to help arrange itineraries for visitors. For more information or a complete itinerary, call the CIVIC office at 319-335-0351 or Jeanne Cadoret, CIVIC board president, at 319-624-2746. The CIVIC office is in Room 38 of the UI's International Center, located at the south end of Ferson Avenue off of Park Road.

CIVIC is part of UI International Programs, which consist of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost for academic programs and dean for International Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT(S): Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026, lois-gray@uiowa.edu. Program: Tom Baldridge, 319-335-0351. Writer: Kent Nguyen