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International Conference Brings Families, Pageantry To MHS

Students marched into the MHS cafeteria carrying flags from countries throughout the world, giving Saturday’s International Conference a fittingly colorful kickoff.

“We don’t just accept diversity here in Manchester,” Mayor Jay Moran said during his opening remarks a bit later. “We embrace it.”

Emcee Kwasi Ntem Mensah kept the large crowd entertained throughout the event, which grew out of a similar conference held last year that was aimed at a narrower audience of Latino families.

Sponsored by the school district’s Office of Family and Community Partnerships, the Association of Puerto Rican and Latino from Manchester, and the district’s ESL/bilingual program, the event had lots of dimensions. There were workshops, exhibits and – of course – music and food from all around the world.

The event was held just one day after news of horrific carnage in France -- which prompted Superintendent Matt Geary to ask for a moment of silence during his remarks.

MHS Principal Jill Krieger also spoke and noted that both MHS and our district in general “truly represent the best of America.”

The keynote speech was given by Scott Ratchford, director of the Office of Family and Community Partnerships.

“Unlike other professions, we don’t make things,” Ratchford said. “But we help raise your children. We view ourselves as an extension of your families.”

And he added our schools and families must work together.

“We need your expertise about your own children,” he said to the assembled parents. “And we absolutely need your expertise about your own history and your own culture.”

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