January 25, 2007


Korean Students Visit Granbury Middle School
Eight students from South Korea are attending school at Granbury Middle School as part of an exchange program established between Granbury and Sinan-gun, South Korea, which is located on an island province off the southwest coast of the country. Arriving on January 8 after traveling here from the airport aboard the city trolley, the group has been shadowing GMS student mentors throughout the school day, living with host families, and attending local activities like basketball games and the Hood County Junior Livestock Show.


The Korean students, who represent different schools and are chosen based on academic criteria, are Mi Hui Choi, Kil Jung Han, Mubi Kim, San Hyeon Kim, Seok-cheol Oh, Han Seok Park, Ju Hyeon Seo, and Daseul Yu. Serving as mentors from GMS are eighth graders Brandt Colborg, Elizabeth Enns, Morgan Kirkpatrick, Zach Price, Luke Urbanovsky, Tyler Welch, Elizabeth Wilsher, Crystal Wong, and Katelyn Young. The mentors are selected based on their academic record, character and moral standing, and willingness to serve.


The exchange program began in 2005 through the leadership of Kooinam Kim, a Granbury businessman who is a member of the Tarrant County Korean Chamber of Commerce. An initial group of five Korean students came that year. In 2006, six traveled to Granbury and began staying with host families. The relationship between the two cities evolved further when Sinan-gun and Granbury became sister cities during a ceremony at Granbury City Hall in January 2006. Mayor David Southern led a group, including GMS Principal Jimmy Dawson, to Korea during the summer of that year.


“Having these Korean students on our campus has been a great experience for our GMS students,” commented Mr. Dawson. “Through this program, we are able to broaden the experiences of our students and introduce them to a different culture.”


GMS will host a farewell party for the group on February 1, and the Korean students will return home on February 3. Efforts are underway to raise money so that Granbury students can travel to South Korea in the summer. Three students previously made the trip in 2005 as part of the exchange program.