EHS teacher Lindsey Smaka selected as representative for Fulbright Fellowship

Morgan Sheehy, managing editor

Lindsey Smaka, a Chemistry and Forensics teacher here at Edina High School, was exclusively selected to participate in the prestigious Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms program. Out of thousands of applicants, Smaka was one of 76 Americans chosen to journey abroad through the Fulbright Fellowship–Teachers for Global Classrooms (TGC), a program supported by the U.S Department of State through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The government sponsored program was established to champion global educational exchange programs that work to create and sustain relationships that solve worldwide problems between foreign countries and the United States. Teachers from around the country are immersed in the year-long professional development course to develop the necessary teaching skills to properly prepare students for the competitive global economy. Through training, travel, and international collaboration, TGC Fulbright graduates are able to bring an international learning perspective to their schools, co-workers, and students.

Smaka will work with other Fulbrighters to combat the challenges that come with teaching in a diverse academic country by first completing a rigorous, semester-long online course focused on the best practices in global education. At the beginning of next year, she will meet other Fulbrighters in Washington, DC, for an in-person professional development workshop to build networks, collaborate, and develop strategies to enhance world learning. Fulbrighters are then assigned to live abroad in a foreign country for two to weeks to become immersed in another country’s culture and education system to promote a mutual understanding. Smaka’s abroad destination has yet to be determined.

Ultimately, Fulbrighters are expected to take their whole experience and create an educational guide that serves not only as a model for their classroom but for their school, to work towards building global educational awareness within Edina Public Schools. Smaka is the community’s bridge towards understanding international education, and will serve as our mentor while we continue to work and remain globally competitive.