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West Delaware Community School District Superintendent Kristen Rickey speaks at the welding apprenticeship program graduation at West Delaware High School in Manchester, Iowa, on Nov. 4.

A local school administrator recently was chosen for a prestigious program that will take her thousands of miles from Manchester.

Kristen Rickey, the superintendent of West Delaware Community School District, was one of 20 school administrators recently chosen for the Fulbright Leaders for Global Schools Program grant. She and nine other administrators will travel to Finland from March 11 to 20.

“I really believe it will benefit my education system, and I will bring this back to share with leaders around the state and potentially around the nation,” she said.

Rickey, who has served as the West Delaware superintendent for 10 years, said the program is paid for by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs. She said she was chosen out of 194 applicants from across the U.S. to either go to Finland or Singapore to learn about the different education systems.

While she is gone, Rickey said, other school administrators and Keystone Area Education Agency staff will cover her day-to-day work.

Rickey said she is most looking forward to the opportunity to learn from other school administrators and about Finland’s successful education system.

“I really want to look at how we can hold our students to high standards while supporting their social and emotional health as well,” she said. “I think the Finnish do it really well.”