By Caitlin Schudalla
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — French Consul General Frederic Bontems visited Reagan Elementary to tour the facility Wednesday morning and observe some of the school’s students learning math and science in his mother tongue.
“It was a wonderful visit. The consul general was extremely pleased to see the speed and aptitude of the kindergarten and first-graders, especially given the fact that we’ve only been in school for a month,” said Janet Gorton, Norman Public Schools world languages coordinator.
Bontems arrived in Oklahoma Tuesday. He is visiting the state for a consular summit on foreign trade and business in Oklahoma, organized by the Governor’s International Team. Gorton said Bontems’ visit to Reagan was made possible by the collaboration of the Oklahoma honorary consuls to France with the French immersion program.
Reagan’s French immersion students greeted the consul general in French. Kindergarten students performed a number of songs in French and demonstrated their ability to count to 60.
“The consul general was also very impressed with the school facility and appreciated the global theme. He joked that he wished his children could attend Reagan but that the commute was too far,” Gorton said.
In addition to Gorton, NPS administrators accompanying Bontems included Superintendent Joe Siano, Reagan Principal Carol Burton; Grant Moak, Oklahoma’s honorary consul to France; Barbara Thompson, former Oklahoma honorary consul to France; and representatives from the OU K20 Center and College of Education.
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