Meet Kathleen Wooddell

Article excerpt

This year, Kathleen Wooddell won't be feasting on a traditional turkey dinner for Thanksgiving. Instead, she'll be nibbling on sushi and sipping saki.

Wooddell, a gifted language arts and creative writing teacher at La Villa School of the Arts, departs for Tokyo on Monday to participate in the Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program. The program permits distinguished primary and secondary school teachers in the United States to go to Japan for three weeks to promote greater cultural understanding between the two nations.

"I'm very excited about going," said Wooddell. "I've been all over Europe, but I've never been to the Orient."

More than 2,000 teachers nationwide applied to participate in the program, which is funded by the government of Japan and administered by the Japan-U.S. Educational Commission. Only 200 teachers were picked for the honor, with the selections made by a panel of educators who reviewed the candidates' applications.

"I think she [Wooddell] is a wonderful choice," said Jane Condon, principal of La Villa School of the Arts. "She is very much interested in culture, languages and literature, and will bring back a great deal of what she has learned and transmit it to the students."

While in Japan, Wooddell will visit primary and secondary schools and have direct contact with Japanese teachers and students. …

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