Local teacher heads to South Korea


Lisa Belcher

A Patrick County High School teacher will complete a Summer Conference and Field Study in South Korea, according to a news release.

Lisa Belcher will participate in an eight-day field study experience in South Korea courtesy of the Northeast Asian History Foundation, the release stated.

“I will be traveling June 20 through 28,” Belcher said.

The foundation sponsors the all expense paid opportunity for teachers in the United States to engage in the international field study and related professional activities during the eight-day visit.

Belcher also will attend a one-day conference in Seoul, the capital of South Korea. The conference will focus on the geopolitics of the Korean Peninsula, and territorial and geographical naming issues that have persisted since the end of World War II, according to the release.

The conference and its associated field study experience to South Korea will enable Belcher to get direct experience with the Korean people and their culture, according to the release.

Belcher said she has traveled with the Virginia Geographic Alliance last  fall to southwestern Virginia for a recertification opportunity for AP Human geography teachers. Shannon Castello and Stephen Chamberlin, members of the VGA, put that excursion together, Belcher said.

Both Castello and Chamberlin have participated in the delegation to South Korea, Belcher said, and added that they, along with Anne Evans, also of the VGA, nominated Belcher to participate in the trip to Korea.

Although Evans “knew I did not teach AP human geography,” Belcher was encouraged to apply anyway  because “our area is underserved in geography education and opportunities for teachers.”

The field study will include observations at the Joint Security Area of the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea, visits to agricultural and industrial sites, the study of Seoul as one of the world’s largest cities, and the historical and cultural heritage sites representing the Korean Peninsula’s 3000-year history.

The program was open to geographic alliances in all 50 states. Only 17 teachers were chosen to visit South Korea this year. Although from different states, teachers included in the trip teach the high school course entitled “Advanced Placement Human Geography” (APHG), which transfers as college credit to many colleges and universities, according to the release.


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