Delegates from Boryeong City, South Korea, visited the Shoreline area May 28-31 in celebration of a sister-city relationship that began in 2002.
Accompanied by Shoreline Sister Cities Association president and former Shoreline city councilman John Chang, the group of delegates toured Shorewood High School May 29 to learn more about the American education system.
“Although we have differences in our education systems you will learn by the end of the day we both want the most educated people contributing to our countries,” said Shorewood principal John Green.
Shoreline school superintendent Sue Walker, school board member Dan Mann and Shorewood associated student body president Chase Parker also welcomed Boryeong City Mayor Shin Joon Hee and others, including Lee Byung Jik, principal of Dae Chon High School in Boryeong City.
“I hope for common development of high schools,” Hee said.
Before delegates toured Shorewood, Jik directed several questions to Green, inquiring about how many Shorewood students attend top universities and the number of Korean students at the high school. Delegates were taken on a tour of the school grounds, pausing along the way to take digital photos of students in automotive, biology, culinary and visual arts classes.
Delegates ended their day on May 29 by eating dinner with the Shoreline council and city staff at the Shoreline Center.
Mayor Bob Ransom welcomed the delegates, giving a brief history of the relationship between the two cities that involved the decision made in 2001 to be sister cities, trips to Boryeong City in 2003 and 2006 and the hosting of a visiting Boryeong City delegation in 2004.
Mayor Ransom spoke of a three-fold approach to sister-city activities, including educational and cultural exchanges, government and civic exchanges and economic exchanges.
“We look forward to sharing information about how you provide city services,” Ransom said.
Throughout the remainder of their visit, Korean delegates went on a tour of Shoreline Fire Station 64, Shoreline Community College and Seattle’s Pike Place Market. Delegates also toured the Everett Boeing plant and the Port of Seattle during their stay.
Mann, who visited Boryeong City in November 2006, said he hopes the sister-city relationship will lead to an eventual student-exchange program.
“I believe in the value of seeing how other people address life,” Mann said.
Hee told those who attended the city council dinner meeting May 29 that he appreciated the city’s hospitality and friendship and that he would “always be grateful for the love and interest shown (for) Boryeong City.”