NEWCOMB Superintendent Clark Skip Hults has a vision for Newcomb Central School that has a decidedly international perspective. Hults recognizes that in his rural school district theres not a lot of diversity, let alone great numbers of students and consequently, the outside world can seem distant and detached. So Hults plans to bring the world to Newcomb. Were developing a Global Community Program (GCP), and piloting this exhilarating program which begins this fall, Hults said. The District has already accepted five high school students from countries in Europe and Asia. Each student will live with local residents and be involved in all aspects of the school and community. It is hoped the program will grow quickly and benefit local and global students, as well as the entire community. Last Saturday in the school auditorium, prospective host families heard from two students, one from Pakistan and one from Azerbaijan, tell them what being an exchange student in Upstate New York is like for them and what the families can expect from their foreign guests. Everything is different, said Obaid Khan from Pakistan. But it is an amazing experience. Obaid said that host families can expect students who are curious and who want to learn everything they can during the year they spend with the family. Without you, this wouldnt be possible, he said. Host families can expect students who are grateful for the opportunity to study in the United States and who will form lasting bonds with their host families, said AYUSA Regional Director Kim Mitchell. Youll come to love your student like your own and it will be hard to say goodbye after the year is over, Mitchell said. For Turkan Masumova from Azerbaijan, the exchange program gave her an opportunity to educate people about her country, a western Asian country that was part of the former Soviet Union. Its an opportunity to teach Americans about a country that they may never have heard of or dont know much about, she said. Newcombs involvement in the program was born of necessity, Hults said. Newcomb Central School District, SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), and the Town of Newcomb are partnering to pioneer a solution to the increasing pressures of diminished enrollment and low diversity, he said, and to enrich the academic and cultural environment of the school. Newcomb Central School Districts Global Community Program is focused at the high school level where the low number of students often results in limited opportunities for social growth and the sharing of ideas and knowledge which can improve academic performance, Hults added. A further advantage of an international school is to lessen the cultural isolation of rural schools. Exposure to cultural diversity will better prepare Adirondack students for success in college, work, and life experiences. Hults said that Newcomb offers what few other school districts can, including small intimate class sizes, the most recent technology available, an emphasis on character-based education, student-centered curriculum, highly qualified teachers, interdisciplinary instruction, rigorous core classes, interesting electives, wonderful extra curricular activities, a beautiful and well maintained building, and complete community support. What truly separates Newcombs Global Community Program from other boarding schools is the unique partnership between the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Newcomb Central School District, and the Town of Newcomb, Hults said. Newcombs GCP offers more than a school, it offers a town!