People to People Ambassador Programs Provides Global Learning Experiences for National Teacher of the Year

California's Rebecca Mieliwocki Makes 'Educational Fact Finding Mission' to China and Singapore

Sep 18, 2012, 17:48 ET from People to People Ambassador Programs

SPOKANE, Wash., Sept. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- 2012 National Teacher of the Year, Rebecca Mieliwocki, has just returned from China and Singapore where she experienced first-hand how two of the most advanced educational systems in the world prepare students to compete in a global marketplace. 

Leading Mieliwocki on this 'educational fact-finding trip,' was Peg Thomas, president of People to People Ambassador Programs.  As the most recognized and respected educational travel provider, People to People provided the opportunity for Mieliwocki to meet with school officials, teachers and students at the top schools in Beijing, Shanghai and Singapore to enhance her professional knowledge, compare curriculums and resources and discuss policies.

"Too often we forget how important it is for our nation's teachers to have an international perspective in order to prepare our students for today's global society," said Peg Thomas. "Providing the National Teacher of the Year with the opportunity to engage with her international peers and share in best practices is an important part of what we do every year to support our teachers."

Mieliwocki, a seventh grade English teacher at Luther Burbank Middle School in California, was named the 62nd National Teacher of the Year by President Obama during a ceremony at the White House in April 2012.

"Part of my role as National Teacher of the Year is to not only represent teachers in the U.S., but also to serve as an educational ambassador around the world," said Rebecca Mieliwocki. "My interaction with teachers and administrators from two of the leading educational systems has revealed opportunities for change in the U.S. while reaffirming the many strengths of our educational system. I was surprised at how often our educational theories were referenced and how much partnerships with schools in the U.S. were valued."

Last year People to People led a trip to China for 2011 National Teacher of the Year, Michelle Shearer.  Shearer spent a week meeting with teachers and education officials in Beijing and Xifan China and blogged about her experience for The Huffington Post.

She noted that U.S. and Chinese teachers "share the challenge of redefining educational 'success' to include not only mastery of content but also development of the vast array of skills students need to succeed in a global society, including critical thinking, creative problem solving, and collaboration."

People to People has supported the National Teacher of the Year program for the past three years as a way to support the professional development of leading teachers who are helping to shape the future of our educational system. Additionally, the organization sends over 1,700 teachers internationally each year to lead student delegations as part of its Student Ambassador Programs with the goal of increasing both students' and the leaders' cultural intelligence (CQ) through cultural immersion and education-focused itineraries.

About People to People Ambassador Programs
People to People Ambassador Programs is the world's most recognized educational travel provider. Since the 1960s, more than 500,000 people from around the world have traveled with People to People Ambassador Programs to help further global understanding through cross-cultural exchange. Offering unmatched safety measures and unparalleled access to foreign cultures and countries, People to People Ambassador Programs promotes personal success in a globalized world and fosters international friendships for both students and professional adults.

People to People Ambassador Programs is the exclusive educational travel provider of People to People International (PTPI), a nonprofit organization founded in 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to promote peace through understanding worldwide. Together, PTPI and People to People Ambassador Programs are united in a mission to bridge cultural and political borders through education and exchange.

People to People Ambassador Programs include the Student Ambassador Programs, World Leadership Forums and Leadership Summits, which provide American and international students the opportunity to broaden their world view, engage in people-to-people contacts, and provide them an educational experience to prepare them for the globalized world. For more information, please visit

SOURCE People to People Ambassador Programs