210 Pittsboro Street
Campus Box 6210
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-6210

T 919-962-2091
F 919-962-2279

Media Advisory

For immediate use

March 21, 2007

Local teacher captures national grant
to take students to study European Union  

Friday (March 23), 10 a.m.
Carolina Center for Educational Excellence, Room C100
(attached to Smith Middle School)
9201 Seawell School Road, Chapel Hill

Media representatives are invited to cover Smith Middle School students traveling to Europe who will share their knowledge and experiences via teleconference with their classmates.

A group of 29 students and six teachers from Smith Middle School, led by French teacher Robin McMahon, departed last Saturday for a 10-day study tour of France and Belgium. Their goal is to learn about the European Union.   

The trip is funded by a grant from the European Commission. McMahon was one of nine winners of a national grant competition, “Getting to Know Europe.” She is the only North Carolina recipient. 

The local students will gather Friday at 10 a.m. at the Carolina Center for Educational Excellence, a technologically rich facility of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education that is attached to Smith Middle School in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School system. 

Federal Express Europe will provide a teleconferencing facility for the traveling students.

The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union. The Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union are the three governing institutions of the Union.

Visual availability: Traveling students will connect with Smith Middle School classmates via teleconference.

Interviews: Local teachers will be available to talk with reporters.

Directions: From Raleigh, take I-40 to N.C. 86, Exit 266. Turn left toward Chapel Hill. Continue on N.C. 86, which becomes Martin Luther King Boulevard/Historic Airport Road, for 1.7 miles. Turn right onto Homestead Road at the sixth traffic light. Go straight for one mile. At the first traffic light, turn left onto Seawell School Road. Go straight for a half mile. Turn right at the first entrance to Smith Middle School, before the school building, at the double sign for R.D. and Euzelle P. Smith Middle School/Carolina Center for Educational Excellence. Enter the parking lot on the north side of the building (circle around and past the basketball goals).

Parking: Free parking will be available on a first-come, first-served basis in the lot on the north side of the school. Free parking will also be available in the lot south of the school.


UNC School of Education contact: Linda Baucom, (919) 962-8687 or
Carolina Center for Educational Excellence contact: Björn Hennings, (919) 843-2874 or