Two Argentinian educators visit UW-Platteville

November 14, 2013

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PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — Recently, Graciela Schmidt and Claudio Roman arrived in southwestern Wisconsin for a three-week visit from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Schmidt is a superintendent of 22 elementary schools in Buenos Aires and Roman is a principal at an arts high school in Buenos Aires for students who have dropped out of school but are returning to finish their education. Roman is also a lawyer in Buenos Aires, representing human rights organizations throughout Argentina.

They visited UW-Platteville and the Southwestern Wisconsin School District in Hazel Green, Wis. for three weeks under the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs through a Fulbright Grant, a merit-based grant administered by the Institute of International Education, which helps students, scholars and teachers travel to other countries for a certain amount of time to experience other cultures educational styles.

At UW-Platteville, Schmidt and Roman were guests of Dr. Frank Steck, professor of industrial studies, who took them to speak to Dr. William McBeth’s and Dr. Daniel Leitch’s education classes. During the classes, they spoke about education in Argentina and answered questions from students about class size, length of the school day and the disciplinary styles used. “The Argentinian administrators really enjoyed the exchange with the UW-Platteville students,” said Dr. James Egan, district administrator of the Southwestern Wisconsin School District.

After speaking to the education classes, Schmidt and Roman toured some of the industrial studies’ labs in Russell Hall, and then proceeded to Steck’s house for a homemade American meal.

“I learned more about these two over dinner than anything,” said Steck. When Schmidt joked about a comment made by her teenage children, “if he brings out a chainsaw…run,” they all shared a laugh. “This comment makes reference to the horror movies common in American cinema. What a revelation that American culture traveled all the way to Argentina and back.”

Contact: Dr. Frank Steck, Industrial Studies, (608) 342-1532,

Written by: Carly Willman, UW-Platteville University Information and Communications, (608) 342-1194,

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