South Korean Education Leaders visit Cumberland University


Cumberland University Teacher Education faculty are hosting ten members of the South Korean-Research Council for Inclusion SupportAugust 8-16 for an International Leadership Institute. The visiting educators will stay on the Cumberland University campus during the week-long visit that includes meetings with Cumberland faculty and Lebanon Special School District (LSSD) administrators and teachers, visits to (LSSD) classrooms, a tour of the state Capitol and time with state education policymakers, even some local shopping and sightseeing.

Dr. Kim Finch, Assistant Professor of Education at Cumberland, established the International Leadership Institute in response to interest by South Korean higher education faculty and researchers for interaction with Cumberland faculty, as well as to visit US schools, meet with local practitioners, and observe current best practices at work.

“Our vision is to expand Cumberland’s role as a facilitator and hub of professional networking, information sharing, and support for our education leadership partners,” said Dr. Finch, who heads Cumberland’s masters program in Instructional Leadership.

“Cumberland University and the Lebanon Special School District have enjoyed a long standing partnership, especially in the area of Special Education,” stated Dr. Eric Cummings, dean of the School of Humanities, Education, and the Arts at Cumberland. “The work that Lynn Cable, Penny Thompson, and other teachers in the LSSD have done for years in early childhood education and inclusion is so excellent, so well recognized, that we knew we could provide our visitors with access to an excellent model school system.”

Institute participants, CU faculty, LSSD Superintendent Scott Benson, and LSSD teachers will also spend a day in Nashville touring the state capitol and meeting with Commissioner of Education Candice McQueen, Senator Steven Dickerson, a member of the Senate Education Committee, and Representative Mark Pody of State House District 46, which includes Cumberland University.

“We are blessed to have such an attentive legislator in representative Pody, and are very grateful to Senator Dickerson and Commissioner McQueen for meeting with our Institute participants. With that line-up we have arranged the best half-day course in state educational policy making one could ask,” said Dr. Bill McKee, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Cumberland.

“The hard work that Dr. Finch has put into this idea has come to fruition so beautifully this year. This visit by South Korean educators should open doors to future visits and collaboration between Cumberland, LSSD, and international educators and I’m sure our benefit will be as great as theirs,” added Dr. Cummings.

Those represented in the featured photograph are as follows: Cumberland University is hosting an International Leadership Institute Aug 8-16. Members of the South Korean-Research Council for Inclusion Support are visiting CU’s campus to exchange knowledge and observe best practices at work. Pictured are: members of the South Korean-Research Council; Dr Bill McKee, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Eric Cummings, Dean of the School of Humanities, Education and the Arts; Dr. Stephen Finch, Coordinator of Field Experiences; Dr. Kim Finch, Program Director for Instructional Leadership, State Representative Mark Pody; Dr. Charles Collier, Professor; Mr. Scott Benson, Director of Lebanon Special School District, Dr. Penny Thompson, LSSD Instructional Coordinator/Pre-K Director; and Mrs. Lynn Cable, LSSD Special Education Director

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