GCS Students Take Lesson from U.S. Ambassador

"Students at Eastern High School talked international politics with the U.S. Ambassador to Sudan Wednesday.

Ambassador Jerry Lanier took time to speak with Advanced Placement students studying Human Geography and Government Studies. They talked about everything from military missions Lanier participated in, to what it takes to be successful, to the weather in Africa.

“I’m all about broadening my students’ horizons,” says Julianne Hollingsworth, social studies teacher at Eastern High School. “I have been trying to get the ambassador here for years, because I want to show my students that real people, with backgrounds similar to theirs, work in these government jobs. I want them to know that they can get jobs like this too.”

Lanier, who grew up in a small North Carolina town, emphasized the point by encouraging students to focus on subjects they’re passionate about.

“Find something you’re interested in, go for it, study it, do the best you can in it, and all kinds of doors will open for you,” said Lanier.

Students say they enjoyed learning about Lanier’s past and how he earned his prestigious position.

“I feel as though a lot of professional people that give speeches try to stray away from where they come from,” said senior Darryl Reid. “He embraced it and was welcome to share it, so that we could understand him as a person as well as a professional.”

Lanier is a career diplomat with 31 years of experience in the State Department. He is the former U.S. Ambassador to Uganda and has served overseas. He also served in several positions in the Department in the Bureau of African Affairs, the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs, the Legislative Bureau, the Bureau of South Asian Affairs, the Counterterrorism Bureau and on the faculty of the National Defense University Eisenhower School. He served three years as lecturer in the history department of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. 

About Guilford County Schools

Guilford County Schools, the third largest school district in North Carolina, serves more than 72,300 students at 126 schools. With approximately 10,000 employees, the district’s mission is to graduate responsible citizens who are prepared to succeed in higher education or the career of their choice. Guilford County Schools is a national leader in providing specialized schools and instructional programs designed to meet the educational needs of a culturally diverse citizenship. For more information, visit the district’s website at www.gcsnc.com."

- A Press Release

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