Graham Academy Hosts Panama Teachers

The Graham Academy hosted teachers from Panama to observe as part of an 8 week American education system study.

Online PR News – 04-March-2016 – Kingston, Pa – Teaching in a classroom is about perspective and for 19 teachers from Panama, the observations they took from a day in Graham Academy classrooms was inspiring. This coming from many of them who teach in schools without running water or electricity. The teachers, on an 8 week educational partnership with Wilkes University, are part of a larger initiative by the Panamanian government and universities throughout the United States.

After spending the entire day shadowing and observing in the classroom, both Graham Academy and Panamanian teachers debriefed at the end of the day. Admittedly exhausted just from observing, they provided high praise for the work of the teachers. After visiting several schools throughout the area, they agreed they’d not seen such a high level of engagement, and positivity with the children. One observer explained, “We admire all of you. We were surprised at how well you all provide excellent work with this type of student. We are gracious for this opportunity because we need to learn a little of everything regardless of the student or setting. That is what part of being a teacher is. Continuing to educate ourselves.”

Dr. Kimberly Niezgoda, Assistant Director of English as a Second Language for Wilkes University, said the partnership is part of a 20 year initiative and groups of teachers travel throughout the area to different schools, including the Graham Academy. “The goal for Panama through this initiative is to become a bilingual country in which everyone knows and speaks English. For that to happen, the teachers need to know how to teach English as a second language. The Wilkes University Intensive English Program has been accredited to provide this education not only to our Panamanian colleagues, but to all international students.”

The Graham Academy, a private special education school for students in Kindergarten through 12th grade, leapt at the opportunity to host international teachers. “Our goal, not only for our staff and professionals in special education, but all professionals in education is to provide opportunities in which they can develop and learn methods to better educate students globally,” commented Carol McGrane, the Graham Academy’s Education Director. Already, the school has seen more than 25 student observers from area universities and are preparing for an influx of student teachers in the spring.

Established in 2008, The Graham Academy is a special education school in Kingston which serves students living with autism or emotional challenges. Students are enrolled in grades K - 12 from school districts throughout Luzerne, Lackawanna, Carbon, and Schuylkill counties. For more information about The Graham Academy, please contact Nick Ouellette at 570-283-0641 or You can also visit to learn more.