Marysville Middle School principal Kathy McKinniss is headed to China this week for a weeklong educational tour.

Marysville Middle School principal Kathy McKinniss is headed to China this week for a weeklong educational tour.

McKinniss was one of 17 educators from Ohio chosen to make the trip, sponsored and funded by the College Board.

McKinniss said the "China Bridge" delegation will be guests of Hanban, the Office of Chinese Language Council International, and will learn about both the Chinese culture and language.

The group will spend a few days in Beijing and then travel to the Hubei province, where they will meet with Chinese educa-tors, visit schools and landmarks and participate in cultural activities.

"I heard about it in a notice I received from the Ohio Department of Education," McKinniss said. "When I was in college, I spent six weeks in the Soviet Union. I guess I've always wanted to see the 'other' big communist country from the inside."

Participants are responsible for the $900 registration fee and travel to a U.S. hub city, where they will board the flight to Beijing. The College Board pays for that flight, all costs while in China and Chinese tourist visa fees.

"For me, though, the real interest is in understanding Asia and using that to help prepare our kids for a global economy," McKinniss said.

She said educators applying for the tour had to write brief explanations of how they would bring knowledge acquired on the trip back to their schools.

Other central Ohio educators making the trip are Cathy Sankey, principal of Dublin Jerome High School; Brad Barboza, Dublin's executive director of learning and teaching; and Joan Buchanan Hill, division director for the Lower School at Columbus School for Girls.

ThisWeek staff writer Candace Preston-Coy contributed to this story.