Tower Hill values the importance of providing a global education, with international travel, exchange programs and multicultural coursework long interwoven into the school's offerings. As part of this emphasis, language teacher Eduardo Silva
was named director of global initiatives in Fall 2015 as a new position created to enhance educational opportunities for students school-wide. The aim is to develop global scholars in a rapidly growing international community by offering students cross-cultural experiences with individuals from around the world in both social and intellectual settings.
“Our goal is to give Tower Hill a global presence by creating programs and experiences across all divisions from which students and faculty can benefit,” Silva said.
Tower Hill has long offered international travel for students, with destinations including Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Australia, Canada, France, Italy and Spain. Faculty members have organized ongoing exchange programs with schools in France and Australia, and last year Tower Hill began welcoming international students from China. Spanish language is introduced in the Lower School, international trips start in Middle School and elective courses such as “Epidemics in Society” and “French Culture and Language through Film” are open to Upper Schoolers.
Providing students with the confidence to network and collaborate with people of different backgrounds helps inspire future global leaders. Silva hopes to facilitate additional study abroad opportunities and Skype interactions with foreign schools, allowing students to see first-hand how other people live, work, socialize and study.
Guest speakers dealing with international relations will be brought on-campus, and the development of new courses with global studies in mind is underway. For example, Tower Hill will begin offering Mandarin as a language option during the 2016-17 school year. Silva also intends to increase Tower Hill’s presence in the local international community.
A native Spanish speaker, Silva graduated from California State University in San Bernardino and earned a master’s degree in French history from Middlebury College while studying abroad at the Sorbonne. He joined Tower Hill for the 2013-2014 school year and has led trips to Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Quebec and Europe. He has had various teaching and tutoring experiences with students at the lower and middle school levels, and he has taught English to university students in Paris.
“My philosophy is to make the language come alive in the classroom,” Silva said “The textbook can only take you so far.”