Banner Health News Center  

Howard S. Gray School teacher headed to Japan


Cullumber in San Francisco
Sue Cullumber (lower left) meets with
Japanese and American teachers at the
Education for Sustainable Development
conference in San Francisco.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (May 29, 2011) – Sue Cullumber, a science teacher at the Howard S. Gray Education Program at Banner Behavioral Health Hospital, has received a fellowship with the International Institute of Education and Fulbright Japan to participate in the Japan - U.S. Teacher Exchange Program for Education for Sustainable Development .

Cullumber and other American teachers will fly to Japan for two weeks in June. Cullumber will visit several schools in Nara to learn how Japanese students are working with sustainable development and sharing the lessons their students have learned.

“One of the reasons I am attending the program is to work with the teachers on developing ideas for a variety of projects,” Cullumber said.

“I will be blogging for my students and posting questions and activities for them while in Japan at When I return, my students will be participating in a project with schools in Japan and the U.S. At this point I don't know what the project will be, but it will be related to sustainable development.”

As part of her fellowship, Cullumber recently participated in a joint conference in San Francisco with American and Japanese teachers to promote international understanding and work together on a shared “Think Globally, Act Locally” project with the students. There, she made a short presentation introducing the Gray School’s student garden and ECO program, including discussion of activities such as raising organic vegetables, learning about global conservation methods, and developing healthy alternatives to school lunches.

“I discussed the students' participation in outdoor programs with the use of the different gardens and habitats that students have constructed at the school, and having such programs as Channel 3’s ‘Dave the Garden Guy’ or Liberty Wildlife visit the Gray School to provide hands-on experiences for the students on local animals and issues,” Cullumber said.

“We also were invited to dinner at the Japanese Consulate in San Francisco and met Consul General Hiroshi Inomata and his wife. They spoke to the teachers about the importance of this program for both countries. We will be trying to collaborate on a shared project that we will be doing with both U.S. and Japanese students and teachers in our classroom,” she added.

Cullumber is no stranger to bringing the world to her students in Scottsdale. In 2008, she led classes from the Galapagos Islands as part of the Toyota International Teacher Program. In 2010, Cullumber participated in an Earthwatch Fellowship to Nova Scotia, studying the mammals in this area and gathering data on the impact of climate change and other environmental challenges on the local wildlife. Locally, she and her students will be involved with a community trail maintenance project in the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy in the fall.

The Howard S. Gray Education Program, located on the Banner Behavioral Health Hospital campus in Scottsdale, Ariz., has provided excellent education to emotionally fragile children and those with autism and Asperger's syndrome for more than 20 years. The school is nationally accredited by the North Central Association and approved by the Arizona Department of Education. To learn more, please visit

Banner Behavioral Health Hospital is part of nonprofit Banner Health, the leading provider of health care services with 24 hospitals throughout the West. Located in Scottsdale, Ariz., Banner Behavioral Health offers a wide range of safe, confidential and compassionate treatments for adults, adolescent teens and children facing mental health and substance-abuse challenges. Our nonprofit services are conveniently located throughout the metropolitan Phoenix area for those who need help with psychiatric and addiction issues. For more information, visit us online at


Banner Health Public Relations
Jennifer Ruble, (602) 747-3105
Craig Fischer, (602) 747-4447

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