kittatinny - Visiting classrooms in Puerto Rico as part of a cultural learning experience, Susan Kappler returned to her job as principal of Kittatinny Regional High School with a personal interest in developing a greater understanding of the culture, history, social, and educational aspects of this island nation. Kappler took advantage of a grant awarded by the Geraldine Dodge Foundation for Professional Development. The purpose of the trip was to garner renewed knowledge, insight, and perceptions and then apply the learning experience to students at Kittatinny. “Interacting with students at Juan Ponce de Leon High School and learning the culture of the Puerto Rican people was not only educational, it was a fun experience,” said Kappler. “Being able to personally share my observations and experiences with Kittatinny students and staff when I returned added a dimension that made the entire visit so much more rewarding.” Kappler made a personal connection with Nilda Santiago, a department supervisor and business education teacher at the high school in Puerto Rico. Kappler toured the school, visited several classrooms, observed individual lessons being taught by the various teachers, and had an opportunity to converse with enthusiastic students, eager to demonstrate their expertise in English. With Santiago’s help, Kappler is setting up e-mail “pen pal” exchanges between students in Puerto Rico and students at Kittatinny. A travelogue of the visit is being made which will be presented to Kittatinny junior high and senior high Spanish classes. “Helping people to integrate their attitudes and perceptions enables us to have a greater understanding of cultures and results in more successful school programs,” Kappler concluded.