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NORTH CREEK - "Awesome," is one word the students of Johnsburg Central School use to describe English teacher Stephen Tomb. His unique ability to create close relationships with his students is what makes Tomb stand out. He also coaches elementary soccer in the fall and spring and elementary Nordic skiing in the winter. But soon Tomb will have a new experience to add to his resume: teaching in India.

He has been selected to participate in the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program for six months during the upcoming school year. This is a prestigious and highly selective international program, only about eight schools and 60 teachers in the United States are chosen to participate. Tomb will teach at the Ahmedabad International School in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India; meanwhile, Ajaykumar Nair, a teacher there, will work here teaching grades eight, nine, and seniors at JCS this fall. Johnsburg Central administrators are embracing the opportunity to welcome Nair into the district for half a year, according to Tomb.

"The board and administration have been so supportive," said Tomb about school leaders working with him and Nair on this unique opportunity.

The entire Tomb family will be traveling to India Aug. 11. Having lived in a small town all their lives, Tomb looks forward to exposing his three sons to life in the busy city of Ahmedabad. The literature of India is what attracts Mr. Tomb most; India was his first choice of places to teach. He hopes to be a "sponge" and absorb the culture of India and its literature. Tomb also is excited to experience the different education system in India. Children go from kindergarten to sixth grade, the same as in the United States, but after sixth grade only the hardest working students continue on to high school. This is going to be a very different to experience for both Tomb and Mr. Nair.

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