FITCHBURG -- Li Ruixue, a middle-school principal from China, visited Monty Tech recently to learn about career and technical education. Phillip Saisa, principal of Overlook Middle School in Ashburnham, arranged the visit and is serving as host during the school administrator's visit to the area. Saisa visited China last year through the China Exchange Initiative.

Ruixue is visiting public and private schools in the area in an effort to gain an understanding of the American educational system.

Saisa and Wan Coulson of Ashburnham, an interpreter, accompanied Ruixue on his recent visit. Monty Tech administrators and student leaders met with the guests prior to touring the school. They outlined how career and technical education works and how it differs from comprehensive schools. The students explained why they chose to attend Monty Tech instead of their community high schools and outlined the unique opportunities career and technical education offers.

Seniors Austin Cyganiewicz of Winchendon, Olivia Frawley of Westminster, and Jessica Shattuck and Christine Truong, both of Fitchburg, participated in the discussion.

Junior William Wang of Athol, who came to this country from China in 2009, spoke in Chinese about his experiences in an American school and how it differs from China's educational system. He also assisted with interpreting.


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Following their meeting, the group toured welding/metal fabrication, machine technology, cabinetmaking, house carpentry and the JROTC program. Ruixue, who video-taped students working in the programs, closely observed what the students were doing and asked questions through his interpreter.

Lunch in the school's Mountain Room Restaurant was served after the tour.