Danner visiting China a second time for business, educational relationships

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Sunday, September 15, 2013

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Mayor Rick Danner is taking a 9-day trip to Hengshui and Handan.

Mayor Rick Danner is taking a 9-day trip to Hengshui and Handan.

Mayor Rick Danner left Saturday for China for his second economic trip within a year. This trip differs than his visit last September in that it will directly result with China interests in the Greer Inland Port and educational opportunities within the upstate.

The 9-day trip will take Danner and the delegation to Hengshui and Handan.

“It’s a very purposeful trip and a real opportunity with education,” Danner said. He said the inland port piqued the visitors’ interests in commerce when the city hosted a lunch for the business and community leaders from Handan.

“(China) has inland ports and they work with them. When they saw the inland port the conversation quickly changed to economic questions,” Danner said. “This was a quickly developed trip.”

The educational part of the trip resulted when Danner was invited to observe 34 students from China who spent a week at McCracken Middle School in Spartanburg in late August. The 8th- and 7th-grade students experienced total English immersion, mirroring their new classmates by adopting an English name for the week, taking a math quiz and participating in other classroom courses and physical education activities.

Another group of students, from Handan, visited Spartanburg High School’s Freshman Academy earlier this summer and Spartanburg High students visited China over the summer. Teachers from Spartanburg County and throughout the state spent five weeks visiting an American high school modeled after Spartanburg HS.

Danner is bringing his wife, Rita, to observe the educational process when they visit schools. She has been in education for 30 years. Danner also spoke with educators in the greater Greer area before leaving.

“It is true we operate in a global economy,” Danner said. “It’s amazing how our young professionals understand world commerce. And to think that true economic development can start in a community with fifth graders.”




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