Concord Hosts Russian Visitors: Teachers Discuss Special Education Needs

For Immediate Release: 
Nov 12 2001

Concord Hosts Russian Visitors: Teachers Discuss Special Education Needs

Athens, W.Va. - Ten educators from northeastern Russia were learning about special problems in special education from experts at Concord College, Monday, November 12.

The visit was arranged by Dr. Sudhakar R. Jamkhandi, director of the Center for International Understanding at Bluefield State College. The Russian educators are visiting colleges and public schools in this area to learn about designing curriculum, practice teaching, and special education programs.

The guests have been in the U.S. since October 26 and will be leaving November 17. Their trip was paid for by a grant from the State Department. According to Dr. Jamkhandi, “The ambassadorial role of area leadership in these study tours is vital and contributes to the establishment of friendly relations with our international visitors.”

Ms. Nancy Burton and Ms. Joan Parsons with the Concord College division of education hosted the guests for a visit to Concord. While at Concord, the educators discussed teacher education and special education programs at the public school and college level.

Ms. Burton teaches at the Athens campus and Ms. Parsons teaches for Concord in Beckley.

“In Russia, prior to the fall of communism, handicapped people were not recognized as citizens needing special training. Now that Russia is a democracy, their educators are developing programs to accommodate the special-needs population. Historically, they are where we were in the late 60’s,” stated Ms. Parsons.

“They are still trying to deal with how to include the special-needs students within their existing educational system, continued Ms. Burton. “They were very receptive to our ideas. They’re still in their planning stages with regard to special education programs.”

For more information call Nancy Burton 1-304-384-5273 or e-mail


Photo: (back row, left to right) Interpreter Alexis Rodimsev, Tatiana Balkove, Alexandra Popova, Olga Riabova, Galina Romaniuk, Ivan Paniukkov; (middle row) Concord College Instructor Joan Parsons, Natalia Kornakova, Ludmila Savchenkova, Svetlana Rusetskaia, Concord College Instructor Nancy Burton; (front row) Galina Nikolaeva, Galina Stepanova, Interpreter Irena Rodimsev.