- The Washington Times - Monday, May 8, 2006

European education

Ambassadors and top diplomats from 26 European embassies are going back to school to teach students in the Washington area about what’s new in the Old World, as they celebrate the 56th anniversary of a federation that evolved into the European Union.

Today is Europe Day in the European Union, and eight ambassadors will serve as substitute teachers in middle schools and high schools in the District and suburban Maryland. Three ambassadors began their teaching assignments last week, and others will continue teaching throughout the month.

“The holiday marks the historic day in 1950 when French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman called on France, Germany and other countries to pool their coal and steel production as the first concrete foundation of a European federation,” the EU Embassy in Washington said.

“The Schuman declaration served as a model for achieving economic integration and stability in Western Europe and was the first step toward the creation of what we now know as the European Union.”

Since the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community, the continent has enjoyed its longest period of peace. The countries that make up the European Union include 457 million residents.

Today’s schedule in Washington includes: Ambassadors Eva Nowotny of Austria at Benjamin Banneker High School; Friis Arne Petersen of Denmark at Garnet-Patterson Middle School; Pedro Catarino of Portugal at Gonzaga College High School; Sorin Ducaru of Romania at School Without Walls Senior High School; Carlos Westendorp of Spain at Washington International Upper School; and Gunnar Lund of Sweden at Cardozo High School.

Today’s schedule in Maryland includes: Ambassador Klaus Scharioth of Germany at Springbrook High School in Silver Spring; Ambassador Giovanni Castellaneta of Italy at Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda and Alan Charlton, deputy chief of mission at the British Embassy, at Walt Whitman High School, also in Bethesda.

Tomorrow in Washington, Belgian Ambassador Frans van Daele will be at Duke Ellington School of Arts, with Dutch Ambassador Boudewijn van Eenennaam at Murch Elementary School. In Northern Virginia, Slovenian Ambassador Samuel Zbogar will teach at Thomas Jefferson High School in Annandale.

On Thursday, Czech Ambassador Petr Kolar will be at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Washington, with Slovak Ambassador Ratislav Kacer at J.E.B. Stuart High School in Falls Church.

Friday will find Bulgarian Ambassador Elena Poptodorova at Maret School and Mark Pace, deputy chief of mission at the Maltese Embassy, at Sidwell Friends School in Washington and Viktor Szederkenyi, deputy chief of mission at the Hungarian Embassy, at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington.

French Ambassador Jean-David Levitte will be at St. Stephen and St. Agnes School in Arlington on May 15.

Mariusz Brymora, a counselor at the Polish Embassy, began the diplomatic teach-in on May 1, at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, followed the next day by Irish Ambassador Noel Fahey at Stuart-Hobson Middle School in Washington. Cypriot Ambassador Euripides L. Evriviades taught at St. Peter’s Interparish School in Washington and Greek Ambassador Alexandros Mallias was at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring on May 3.

Yesterday saw EU Ambassador John Bruton at Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington; Finnish Ambassador Pekka Lintu at McLean High School; Lithuanian Ambassador Vygaudas Usackas at Wakefield High School in Arlington; and Luxembourgian Ambassador Joseph Weyland at Albert Einstein High School in Kensington.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail jmorrison@washingtontimes.com.

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